Infection Control in Hospitals

Infection Control in Hospitals—Not the Only Component to Healing

Articles and studies speaking to the need to keep health-care associated infections (HAIs) to a minimum are being done continuously. Efforts to keep patients safe from bacteria that could come from other patients, staff, and visitors in hospitals are necessary.

Many regulations about glove use and hand hygiene are enforced to keep people from being infected.  The use of copper alloy materials to prevent transmission of infections seems to be having success—copper alloy coated surfaces reduced bacteria within two hours of contact.  A UV disinfection process is also being tested.

All of this is being done to keep patients safe and healthy during a time when they are most vulnerable.  No argument can be made against these efforts.

However, have we forgotten how to make a patient happy?  When a patient, or anyone for that matter, is happy—they feel better.

UCSF Medical Center is doing something interesting and unconventional to make their ICU patients happier—-and it doesn’t involve disinfectants.  At least I doubt UV light or copper alloy is part of this initiative.

My thoughts are, let’s not lose our way by keeping things sterile at the expense of sheer patient joy.

I’m not supporting a “cart cat” for every healthcare facility, but perhaps a different perspective on flowers, or plants, or living walls, or fountains.  There’s no denying everyone in the hospital (staff, patients and visitors) was uplifted by the experience—regardless of bacterial infections that may be lurking somewhere.

And that supports healing.