We could not ask for more from our nurses, doctors and all those working in our health system for their herculean effort during the pandemic and the continued struggle they face as they strive to deliver the best possible patient care in sometimes the most challenging of situations. However, could our hospitals be doing more to protect both clinicians and patients when it comes to infections?
Over the past two years we’ve seen the emergence of a reluctance of people to seek treatment or delaying procedures because of a perceived danger of infection risk with COVID-19. In the 2021 Patient Experience Journal – How to address fear: A patient’s perspective of seeking care during COVID-19, patients interviewed as part of a Human-Centred Design intervention from a community hospital in California indicated that they believed that hospitals are “infection reservoirs” and are “crawling with COVID-19”.
Many people would be astounded to know that the number of deaths from COVID-19 in Australia this year to date has reached more than double the deaths from 2020 and 2021 combined.
According to federal health department data as of 18 April, 6,786 people have died of Covid-19 in Australia since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these deaths, 4,547 occurred in 2022 – more than double the 2,239 deaths recorded over the first two years of the pandemic. Prof Adrian Esterman, a biostatistician at the University of South Australia said “We’re still seeing thousands of people being infected; we’re seeing many, many people ending up in hospital. “If even only a small percentage of those get severely ill, end up in hospital or die, they’re still big numbers and that’s what we’re seeing. It’s not only hospitalisation and deaths – it’s long Covid [too].”
Recently, we read a most sobering article in the Sydney Morning Herald – About 2800 people were in hospital at Omricon’s peak. How many caught it there? detailing the sad demise of a Mr Jim Stamell. In this article it highlighted:
- 160,000 infections acquired in Australian hospitals each year, but health departments are only required to publicly report on staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (“golden staph”).
- 20% of all COVID infections came from hospitals
- People die from infections acquired in hospitals that otherwise wouldn’t have died.
With all these accounts in the media it’s no wonder that people could be forgiven for being concerned for their safety when going to hospital, as in the past going to hospital was always considered the safest option when you are ill.
It’s highly likely hospitals that employ disinfection regimes using the latest in disinfection technology will restore confidence in a potentially nervous community and stand apart from the rest. Surfacide, brought to Australia and New Zealand by Wilhelm, is leading the field in this area.
A recent white paper from Press Ganey and Compass One Healthcare features Surfacide for Improving Patient Satisfaction. The white paper discusses that to remain best-in-class, hospitals should “Leverage the 5 Pillars of Clean.” Surfacide’s UV-C light technology is featured as one of the tools used in hospitals that had some of the best, high-scoring patient satisfaction surveys around hospital cleanliness.
The science behind Surfacide’s ability to kill COVID-19 (the infectious disease caused by the SARs-CoV-2 virus), bacteria, some fungi and other virus is well proven. It has been deployed in over 500+ leading hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices, fire stations, prisons, police stations, commercial office spaces, hotels and public venues worldwide.
Isn’t it time our hospital system did more to restore the confidence of the community when it comes to infections and to provide a safer working environment for all those who work in these facilities. The answer is yes.
To learn how quickly and easily Surfacide can be incorporated as part of your disinfection regime talk to us.