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The Importance of Proper Infection Control in Home Health Care

Infection control should be a top priority in any health care setting, including home health care. Infection control in a home health care setting should accomplish two things. First, infection control should eliminate most causes of infection in patients. Secondly, proper infection control should improve patient healing outcomes while also keeping patients satisfied.

The Leading Cause of Hospital Admittance

Many patients enjoy the benefits of in-home health care, and just like in a hospital setting,  infections can be a threat. Infections in home health care patients are the leading cause of hospital admittance. A large percentage of in-home care patients are admitted to a hospital every year due to an infection. Keeping proper infections protocols in place and minimizing infections keeps patients in their home health care setting and out of the hospital. 


Infection Control Improves Patient Outcomes

Proper infection control can help keep patients at home healthier, while also improving their outcomes of getting better. By keeping infections at bay, patients are able to focus on their recovery without the worries of infection or hospital admittance. 

Proper infection control also increases patient satisfaction. It is no surprise that when patients are healthier and recovering on track that they are happier. Proper infection control protocol ensures that patients are recovering in the cleanest and safest environment possible, helping with their satisfaction of their care. 


Infection Control Protects Nurses Too

Like patients, nurses can also be at risk of infections and spreadable disease. Nurses are often in the front lines working closely with patients which can put them at risk. Enacting and practicing proper infection control protects nurses and keeps them healthy and in the field with their patients, which is great for everyone. 

Infection control is critical in the home health care setting. Our patients’ health, and employees’, and well being is in our hands and we must do everything we can to protect them from infections and spreadable disease. By practicing infection control protocols, we can ensure that our patients are receiving the best and safest care possible. 


Procedures for Proper Infection Control

With all of this in mind, it is important to have an infection control plan in mind. This includes knowing and understanding procedures that prevent infections. Here are some tips for infection control in the home-health care setting:

  • The number one way that infections can be prevented is through proper handwashing. Hands should be washed before touching any medical equipment, tools, food, and especially the patient. Patients should also wash their hands during visits as well. 
  • Proper sanitization protocols should also be in place in the home-health care setting to minimize the spread of infections and illness. This includes sanitizing any equipment or object  being touched by the medical staff or patient. Proper waste disposal can help reduce infections and illness. 
  • PPE, or personal protective equipment, is another important step in minimizing infections. PPE should be worn during all visits in the home  to protect the medical staff and the patient. 
  • Proper cough and sneezing etiquette should be used during visits, both by the medical staff and the patient. This includes covering your mouth every time you cough or sneeze, preferably with a tissue or mask . This can significantly reduce illness and infections.

Practicing these infection control protocols will ensure that the home-health setting is safe for both the patient and medical staff. 

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