Clean up your act for a super sanitised practice
Now that COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, many look forward to returning to ‘normal’. But in professional healthcare, current workplace changes are likely to stay.
More than ever, infection control, including physical distancing, improved handwashing/sanitising and masks, has become a focus. What’s more, cleanliness, and staff and patient safety has become paramount.
So, what’s your plan to stop your staff and patients from contracting illnesses at work?
Recap: wipe the slate clean
Removes dirt, microorganisms and impurities from surfaces, thereby lowering microorganism numbers
Kills germs on surfaces or objects by using chemicals
Describes either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces to lower the risk of spreading infection
Destroys or eliminates all forms of microbial life by physical or chemical methods
Hygiene and cleaning for the health workforce during COVID-19 has more.
The hidden benefit of infection control
Besides reducing and killing microorganisms, there’s another added benefit.
Your patients and staff rightly expect a premium standard of cleanliness. And when they can see you’re doing everything you can to keep them safe, you’ll be building that all-important trust, not to mention your reputation. Trust in you as both employer and healthcare provider.
What’s your plan?
You’ve been implementing heightened infection control measures for over a year. Here’s a recap on risk assessment and management. Approach COVID-19 as for any other workplace hazard:
- Identifying hazards
- Assessing risks (including the likelihood of them eventuating)
- Controlling the risks to minimise them
- Reviewing these controls regularly
There’s no doubt providing a safe workplace for your staff and patients requires sustained effort. The keywords are planning, training and equipping. Review and revise your cleaning and disinfection plan regularly, based on the latest safety, infection control and cleaning protocols from public health organisations:
- Safe Work Australia
- Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare
- RACGP fact sheets
- Australian Dental Association resources.
Incorporating easy sanitising into healthcare interior design
With the greatest infection risk occurring in indoor, crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces, future healthcare interior design and fit-out trends will routinely incorporate infection control elements. Consider:
- Patient flow – improving safety, efficacy and patient experience. Maintaining physical distancing with wider hallways, one-way flow through the practice with separate entry and exit doors
- Decentralised waiting areas, so patients and attending staff are co-located
- Use of fresh air, providing airflow and dispersing airborne droplets. Consider air purifiers or air purification systems
- Giving special attention to air-conditioning systems
- Safe dirty to clean workflow. For example, 2-room instrument reprocessing for dental practices.
Does your workspace easily enable implementation of new infection control protocols? Consider improvements to support efficiency and infection control, easing stress and giving you and your patients peace of mind. A smart best practice design maximising the real estate, thereby reducing square metre costs, can help to promote and maintain a clean, sanitised environment.
Improve your space for easier infection control and workplace wellbeing
It’s not surprising, given the amount of time spent in workplaces, the interior design and fit-out of your healthcare practice environment can powerfully influence your health and wellbeing. It’s been shown that people who are healthy and passionate about their work are motivated to perform well. And with up to 90% of the cost of doing business attributed to staff costs, it pays to provide a workspace conducive to high performance, while providing an environment which will nurture their wellbeing.
Evoke Projects with branches nationwide specialises in healthcare interior design, construction and project management.
We believe true design genius happens when it is people-centric, and aesthetics are secondary. Our competitive advantage lies in our design expertise in maximising space efficiency to reduce real estate, whilst still providing a space that improves the team’s wellbeing, engagement, and productivity. We are passionate about people — to help them to thrive in 2021 and get beyond COVID-19. A hearty dose of passion, integrity and excellence goes into each and every healthcare interior design and fit out project.