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The Importance Of Infection Control In Medical Management

Jul 18, 2008
Infection control has become somewhat of a political hot potato in recent years with the media producing stories on the spreading of so called 'super-bugs' in hospitals and medical institutions. Thankfully to combat the problem a growing number of workers are undergoing online training programmes to reduce instances of these bugs such as MRSA and C.difficile.

The knowledge gained from these courses is expected to help if a pandemic of any of these virus strains breaks out. Recent research has shown that workers who undergo the online training are more adept in infection control procedures and informing patients on how to reduce the chances of contamination.

In terms of self assessment, workers who were surveyed before undertaking the online infection control course gave their competency levels at sixty four percent. Once the course had been completed, this self assessed competency rose by nearly fifteen percent. In addition almost ninety percent of participants thought that the online training had given them a clearer picture of how to control infection within their working area. The result has been an improvement in procedural adherence and a wide reaching change in behaviour.

An added benefit of having individually trained staff members has been the feedback on current infection control procedures. As long as institutions have been open to the suggestions of their workers, they have seen an improvement in procedural knowledge and effectiveness of these procedures. In addition to procedural knowledge however, the courses give workers and understanding of key issues such as hand washing, best hygiene practice and the chain of transmission.

The results of these types of courses have been far reaching in the medical sphere. Even experienced healthcare professionals found that after additional instruction a marked change occurred in their day to day behaviour and approach to infection control. Of these changes a few were striking: Workers were clearly more thorough with personal hand hygiene at all stages of the day. The protective clothing worn by both workers and patients was improved as were the procedures to dispose of this clothing. In addition to the clothing, the wearing of gloves and eye protection was also increased.

It is hoped that by increasing the training across the medical profession as a whole, instances of cross contamination and transmission of infection will be vastly reduced. As long as staff members recognise the importance of the training and take it on board; the situation should come into fruition.

This is a vital course of action should the problems of hospital infection be solved. These problems are now fundamentally international in nature meaning that agencies all over the globe are introducing methods to increase training and hence reduce instances of hospital based infections being contracted. A major reason behind this move is not purely to limit infection however; as these viruses are frequently contracted in hospitals, medical institutions are obviously aware of the fact that more instances will mean more lawsuits and hence more money being spent of legal fees rather than health benefits. In a world where the medical profession is under enough stress already, limiting infection is a major initiative to reduce hospital running costs.

If these online courses are a success hospitals should be able to reduce the instances of viruses such as MRSA. This is vitally important in not only restoring faith in healthcare institutions but also in reducing running costs. Today infection control is a vital constituent of medical management that requires training and procedural adherence to be successful.
About the Author
Health expert Thomas Pretty looks into how infection control is becoming an increasingly large issue in medical institutions.
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