Medical research, modern disinfectants and targeted measures have brought about great advances in hospital hygiene. General hygiene rules for hospitals now include:
- Operational requirements: Sufficient hand sanitising points must be provided in every hospital. Treatment rooms should be designed to allow them to be kept clean and disinfected.
- Hygiene committee: This committee consists of representatives from different hospital departments who work together on a comprehensive hygiene plan which considers specific features of the medical facility.
- Hygiene plan: The hygiene plan must be communicated to all employees and updated regularly. Hospitals can also specify requirements for personal hygiene. For example, nursing staff and doctors may be required to tie their hair back or to keep their fingernails short. Recommendations for personal hygiene outside work are also possible, such as daily showering.
- Hygiene experts: A specially trained hygiene expert checks compliance with hygiene rules and makes any required optimisations to the hygiene plans.
- Training: Hygiene research is continuously revealing new findings with potential implications for hospital environments. It is therefore important that hospital and nursing staff receive regular training on hygiene issues.
You might be wondering: How can I tell whether a hospital is complying with hygiene regulations? Given the complexity of hygiene rules, this question is actually not easy to answer and it is impossible for anyone from outside to tell at a glance whether everyone in the hospital is complying. However, there are some signs to look out for. One important clue is correct hand hygiene.
Doctors and nursing staff should sanitise their hands before each treatment and before moving on to the next patient. If hand hygiene procedures are not followed correctly, this could be a sign that other hygiene rules are not always adhered to. If this occurs repeatedly, you can politely ask the staff about hygiene.