* Cleanzine_logo_3a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 7th December 2023 Issue no. 1092

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Healthcare Cleaning Forum - the secret epidemic of HCAIS

* Healthcare-Cleaning-Forum.jpgDespite advances in medicines and treatments, there's one simple fact that has never changed: prevention is better than a cure. It is the reason countries invest in vaccines. However, hospitals are struggling to tackle the silent epidemic of healthcare-associated infections.

HCAIs are - and remain - a huge problem for healthcare organisations. The European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control estimates that 4.5million HCAIs occur in Europe's hospitals every year. This means that, on any given day, one in every 15 hospital patients has an HCAI.

This highlights the challenge for hospitals as they work to provide the highest standards of care. Healthcare professionals are treating illness and injury, only to see patients are contracting infections. Sometimes, the HCAIs can even present a greater risk to patient safety than the original reason for hospital admission.

And that's the critical element. HCAIs are reversing the efforts of healthcare professionals - putting their patients at risk of disability and death. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that HCAIs cause close to 1.7million deaths a year in the US alone. Imagine scaling that to a global level…

The real problem is that this number is not slowing down any time soon. Roughly 2.7million new HCAI cases spring up each year across the EU. HCAIs have become a silent epidemic that will turn into a global crisis if we don't take action now.

There's an undeniable link between hospital environments and patient safety. And it is an area that was explored at Interclean Amsterdam 2018 following the creation of a special, dedicated event.

The event was a huge success, drawing attendees from all over the world. Its popularity underlined how organisations often undervalue healthcare cleaning as a solution. As the report from the Healthcare Cleaning Forum highlighted, “the importance of the hospital environment in patient care has only recently been recognised”. Healthcare institutions everywhere are still working out how best to provide infection prevention.

The Healthcare Forum will return to Interclean Amsterdam 2020. The forum is all about embracing the shift that is happening in healthcare environmental hygiene, and staying ahead of the market. Pathogens in the patient environment are now recognised as a major source of HCAIs. Academics have also been able to confirm that improving the patient environment lowers these infection rates and saves lives.

This is being addressed on diverse fronts: by driving forward the academic research, championing technical innovations, adapting solutions to real-life contexts and changing how we think about the workforce. It is important to combine the knowledge in healthcare institutions, industry and academia, if we want to make a real difference on the front lines.
The new objective of the HCF is to deliver the best scientific research and experience. This academic foundation could drive and support your best innovations, enabling you to become both the leader in the market and patient safety.

In terms of the practical sessions, the Forum will offer a range of useful 'how to' demonstrations in areas such as instrument sterilisation and waste management. There will also be a chance to learn how water and air quality affect hospital environments and patient outcomes. You are guaranteed to come away with plenty of ideas on how to improve healthcare cleaning and infection prevention across your facilities.

Returning to the HCF to share his knowledge will be Dr Didier Pittet, Professor of Medicine and Hospital Epidemiology at the University of Geneva Hospitals in Switzerland. Among others, Alexandra Peters of the Infection Control Programme at the University of Geneva Hospitals and Dr Pierre Parneix, Doctor of Public Health and Hospital Hygiene at Bordeaux Hospital University Center will be joining the Forum. New to the stage is Dr Cheryl Dunn, CQC support Director from Dudley Group of Hospitals FT. It is exciting to see such an experienced panel of experts to the Forum.

Dr Pierre Parneix will elaborate on the four quality assessment methods and associated standards to define targets and acceptable levels. The methods are used to monitor the efficacy of cleaning processes of hospital surfaces, including post discharge cleaning and high touch surfaces management. Next to that, the methods also apply to care environmental management, ATP and the removal of fluorescent marker priory applied on surfaces.

Dr Cheryl Dunn will explain to what extent a hospital's organisational culture can affect HCAI prevention. In this session, matters related to organisational leadership, courage and an accountability culture will be reflected on.

Interclean Amsterdam 2020 will be the world's largest professional cleaning and hygiene event, set to feature more than 900 exhibitors and attract around 35,000 visitors from 12th – 15th May 2020. The Healthcare Cleaning Forum 2020 will take place on 13th May at the Amsterdam RAI.



19th December 2019

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