Healthcare Environmental Infection Prevention and Control
Throughout healthcare, the physical environment represents an important source of pathogens that can cause infections or carry antibiotic resistance.
Sometimes, the healthcare environment is a primary source of germs. Consider that molds can be present on wet or damp surfaces or materials, and bacteria can be present in plumbing fixtures including sink drains or ice machines. The way that humans interact with the healthcare environment also plays a role. For example, when a healthcare worker fails to wash their hands, they might touch and contaminate a piece of equipment or environmental surface; in turn the equipment or surface could wind up exposing a patient to pathogens.
These examples illustrate the importance of environmental infection prevention and control in the healthcare setting. Water and environmental surfaces are two intersecting parts of the healthcare environment that contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance and healthcare associated infections.