Newswire » Local News » Hospitals to Establish Penalty Point System for Hygiene

Hospitals to Establish Penalty Point System for Hygiene

Irish Hospitals

Hospitals to Establish Penalty Point System for Hygiene

A new report has asked this very question and has found health services less than adequate.

During February 2014 and January 2015 the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) inspected cleanliness and hand hygiene practices in 49 out of 50 public hospitals. The findings revealed serious health risks to patients in 7 out of the 49 hospitals which were inspected.  There was limited access to hand hygiene gel for staff, and equipment such as commodes, thermometers, mattresses and blood glucose monitoring kits were found to be unsanitary.  Unsanitary commodes can cause a risk of increasing infections to patients such as clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhoea.

One hospital withheld parking permits for staff if they failed to finish their hand hygiene training.  Other hospitals prevented junior doctors from moving onto their next round if they had not succeeded in completing their hand hygiene training. HIQA introduced a penalty point system in relation to hand hygiene practices.  Hospital staff who received five or more points would be asked to re-do hygiene training.

HIQA’s acting director of regulation Mary Dunnion said “We are recommending that patients and relatives should be made aware by hospitals of how to keep their hands clean as a matter of routine. Some hospitals have already introduced measures to encourage patients to ask staff if they have washed their hands, for example, through poster campaigns or prompting badges on uniforms.” (Credit the Irish Times)

In my opinion I think it is alarming that health care staff are not sanitizing their hands regularly, or ensuring that their equipment is clean, before each patients use. It not only puts the health and wellbeing of their patients at risk, but it also puts their own health at risk by not implementing these practices. Hopefully by HIQA introducing the penalty point system and by insisting on hygiene training for staff, hospitals will be able to maintain healthy standards of patient care. Otherwise we have to ask the question, how can a patient’s health improve if they are forced to reside in unsanitary conditions?

Leave a Reply

© 1991-2014 Fountain Resource Group Ltd. · Registered Company Number: 193051C · RSS · Website designed by Solid Website Design