Plastic surgeons or other medical professionals carrying out theatre-based procedures need to exercise extreme caution to reduce the risk of infection and contamination. Utilising scrubs best practice is critical in terms of minimising risk and reducing your exposure to Medical Professional Indemnity Insurance claims from patients suffering infection of other ill-health while in your care.
Contamination is More Common Than You Might Think!
A recent practical study of hospital workwear highlighted that over 60 per cent of employee uniforms tested at health care institutions tested positive for pathogens. Over 50 per cent of the samples tested positive for one or more different pathogens, with 11 per cent of the discovered bugs being resistant to multiple front-line antibiotics.
As a result of the work being undertaken you may not find the statistics to be too shocking, however, it clearly highlights the need to closely scrutinise and manage how scrubs and other similar garments are handled and maintained in order to reduce contamination and the spread of viruses or infections.
Where Should Scrubs be Worn?
In a busy health clinic or hospital, it is sometimes easy to overlook the basics and, unfortunately, scrubs are often worn in many places where they should not be. Whether it be a quick trip out to grab some lunch, dropping in on friends or at the shops on the way home from work, health care workers run the risk of spreading pathogen to members of the public.
While it may seem like added hassle after a long day, it is important that all staff change in and out of their scrubs at the medical centre. Even if they are just popping out going out to lunch or running a quick errand on a break, there is no need to take the unnecessary risk. Imposing a simple rule that staff should never leave the building with their scrubs on will reduce the risk considerably.
Change Scrubs Regularly
Researchers also found that contamination increased the longer uniforms were worn. In fact, changing scrubs daily instead of every two days reduced contamination from 29 to 8 per cent.
Changing scrubs is a proven way to reduce pathogen build-up and my imposing a daily change rule you will instil consistent best practice. Even if scrubs appear clean they could still be host to lingering bacteria and subsequent Medical Indemnity Insurance claims.
Don’t Forget The Hands!
On further analysis of the results, experts also highlighted that bacteria build-up on garments could in part be caused by employee neglect of proper hand-washing practices. With this in mind, It is important that, along with proper uniform care, you vigorously instruct your team to adhere to hand-washing standards to keep them from transmitting potentially harmful pathogens from one area to another.
Professional Indemnity Insurance for Nurses, Doctors or Surgeons is a specialist area of cover, protecting individuals or firms against professional negligence claims. While the more obvious claims for procedural error are well known, it is easy to overlook the risk of simple hygiene negligence, which can lead to multiple claimants and significant losses.
Claims history is a key driver in terms of the insurer premium calculation process, as such, indemnity losses will drive increased premiums as well as payment of any applicable policy excesses.
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