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Infection Prevention Week 2020: Changing the game on germs

It’s Infection Prevention Week 2020 – a time to reflect on a year that changed the game on infection control, causing hospitals and others to question if their facilities were prepared for a whole new level of excellence.

Preventing the spread of infection in hospitals and other health facilities has always been a top priority, but this year the rampant spread of the novel coronavirus has forced the healthcare sector globally to examine its infection control practices.

Many facilities have been quick to identify shortcomings. These are often the easily overlooked elements of healthcare interiors that seemed adequate until Covid-19 came along and made it clear that ‘adequate’ is no longer good enough. As a result, facilities around the world have had to re-examine areas such as patient privacy, surface protection and frequently-touched fixtures like hand rails and washroom partitions.

As with so much in life, getting the simple things right can sometimes present the biggest challenges. Hospitals don’t need anybody to tell them what’s best when it comes to infection control – but the practicalities of putting this in place can become extremely challenging once we factor in the pressures these institutions face. Finding options that tick all the boxes on affordability, value for money, ease of maintenance, safety for staff and patients, and aesthetic quality, as well as ensuring gold standard infection control, is not a task for the faint hearted. And now, this high level of detailed decision making must be applied to all areas of the hospital environment, not just those previously classified as ‘high risk’.

Key barriers to best practice in infection control typically include budget constraints, lack of easy access to innovative interior products, and concerns about the disruption any remedial works will cause. At Belroc, we aim to address all of these concerns by offering our clients access to the most innovative and affordable infection control tools, combined with a fully packaged and highly professional service that minimises disruption even when carried out in ‘live’ hospital and care home settings.

For almost 20 years, we’ve been helping our clients in healthcare and elsewhere to create interiors that look great, function well and are easy to maintain. Now more than ever, this is vital.

Simple changes to healthcare interiors can have a dramatic impact on their ability to cope with the new demands of infection control. This might include replacing wooden or porous fixtures with non-porous materials that give germs no place to hide. It could be adding surface protection to walls and doors, making them easy to disinfect with no degradation of the surface, no matter how frequently they are cleaned. It could be switching conventional patient privacy curtains for alternatives that are easier to keep clean and therefore safer for patients, visitors and staff. Making these simple changes can also dramatically reduce the human resources burden of infection control, maximising the effectiveness of hygiene protocols, reducing laundry bills and lightening a facility’s environmental footprint into the bargain.

At Belroc we understand that making wholesale changes to hospital interiors is daunting, both from a budgetary and a practical point of view. We’ve made it our mission to minimise our clients’ concerns in these areas by committing to provide excellent value for money right across our product portfolio, as well as adding value with our service.

Since the beginning of this pandemic we’ve used innovative products such as our Instaswap curtain system and Cleanscreen privacy dividers to help our customers meet their goals on infection control and achieve ultimate peace of mind. We’ve also supported many facilities to upgrade their interiors during times of intense pressure – including one project that commenced just six hours after the client made contact with us.

Winter is coming and the second wave of Covid is already here – but if you’re worried your facility still isn’t making the grade on hygiene, it’s not too late. Contact Belroc today to discuss your needs.