Reasons for Effective Control Policy in Cleansing and Sterilization – Health System Example

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"Reasons for Effective Control Policy in Cleansing and Sterilization" is a wonderful example of a paper on the health system. Disease control is the only way to control an outbreak within localities. However, in order to fully control diseases, used equipment should be well disposed of off so that disease-causing organisms can be checked. While the leaders of health groups and institutions may have issued policies and guidelines on hygienic practices, they may not have been properly implemented at the ground level by the health care providers. The two methods of keeping an environment safe from disease-carrying microorganisms are sterilization and disposal of instruments. Surgical and medical equipment are important components in providing care to patients (Cleaning n. d.).

They are designed to be used again and again and therefore, susceptible to pathogens (Cleaning n. d.). Sterilization is considered an economical process because the instruments and medical tools can be reused after the microorganisms have been neutralized. Not all conditions would favor sterilization, but when considering all the methods of disposing and cleansing medical equipment, it is the most preferred process since there is a low chance of reinfection with this process (Bleich 1977).

Since diseases differ in the nature of the attack, and with individuals, control measures are necessary in order to completely eradicate the occurrence of a pandemic. In rendering equipment safe, the decontamination process followed includes cleaning (use of detergent or enzymes to remove dirt and microorganisms), disinfection (use of chemical or other elements to destroy pathogens), and sterilization (use of an agent to destroy all types of microorganisms) (Cleaning n. d.). Decontamination is the procedure utilized in order to remove and destroy microorganisms and make the instruments safe (Cleaning n. d.).

All hospitals and health institutions should establish locally a decontamination policy for every type of instrument and equipment (Cleaning n. d.). Cook (2001) suggested that to provide better health services to the patients, health institutions should utilize the sterilizer method of cleansing medical equipment. Thus, there must be sterilizing machines in hospital settings that would suit the different types of equipment and tools, including delicate ones (Cook 2001). The delicate tools must properly care for so that they can be continually used for the purpose for which they are intended. When there is an outbreak of infectious disease it is advisable that the health institution recommends disposal of used equipment instead of sterilizing to create enough space for ordering for new hygienic protective gears as well as cleansing products and ingredients which assists in total service delivery to the needy citizens (Bankaitis & Kemp 2002).

It is further recommended that sterilization of used instruments be done before disposal (Bankaitis & Kemp 2002; Block 2001). Disposal of used instruments improperly would result in infection if they come in contact with people.

Boyce and Pittet (2000) said that all used equipment and medical instruments should be sterilized before taking further action. Cook (2001) is of the same idea that disposal of used instruments is not safe either due to contamination of the environment (Cook 2001). There are instruments though which are necessarily made for disposal after use. Thus, hospitals also must have medical equipment disposal policy, which includes the removal of instruments that can be sterilized and reused (Medical Equipment Manager 2008). Instruments and equipment identified for disposal are not removed right away from the health institution or hospital.

They must be decommissioned according to the procedure set in the Trust waste management policy (Medical Equipment Manager 2008). For complex equipment, the protocol suggested is to return it to the manufacturer. In conclusion, health institutions and providers must both have sterilization and cleaning policy, as well as an instrument disposal policy. These policies are different from each other and therefore, each one is not superior to the other or can work exclusively without the other.

They must exist simultaneously within the hospital so that the instruments and equipment can be rendered safe, and the patients free from contamination and diseases.                  

References

Bankaitis AU & Kemp RJ, 2002. “Hearing aid related infection control,” in Valente M. (Ed.) Strategies for Selecting and Verifying Hearing Aid Fittings, 2nd ed., Thieme Publishing Group, New York, NY, 369–383.

Bleich D, 1977, Contemporary Halakhic Problems. London-UK, House Inc.

Block SS, 2001, Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation. New York-USA, Lippincott.

Boyce JM & Pittet D, 2002 October 25, Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . [Accessed 22 October 2011].

Cleaning, Disinfection, and Sterilization of Medical Equipment. n.d., 137-167. . [Accessed 22 October 2011].

Cook R, 2001, A Nurse's Survival Guide to Primary Care. New York-USA, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Medical Equipment Manager. (2008 July 31). Medical Equipment Disposal Policy. Tameside Hospital. NHS. . [Accessed 23 October 2011].

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