Hospital curtains provide privacy and safety. But, how are they supposed to ensure protection if they harbor potentially dangerous bacteria? Read on and find out how to manage medical facility cubicle curtains to reduce the risk of infection and disease.
Cubicle Curtains: The Risk
Healthcare associated infections cost millions to the health system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most infections are associated with improper hand hygiene and unsanitized soft surfaces.
One of the most common objects that affect the rate of hospital-acquired infections is cubicle curtains. A recent study by Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology showed that privacy curtains in patient rooms are frequently infected by harmful microorganisms such as vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Hospital Curtains Sanitation: A Quick Guide
Aside from sanitizing healthcare workers’ hands, the regular cleaning of the curtain prevents the acquisition of infectious diseases. Since privacy curtains are made up of fabric, looking at how textiles are being handled in healthcare facilities is a good starting point.
The Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council and Environmental Services & Infectious Disease Control recommended guidelines on proper handling of laundry and bedding. It is important to understand these techniques since not all processes, including dry cleaning and home laundering, are created equal.
As for the frequency, the manufacturer’s guidelines can help determine how often cubicle curtains must be changed. To keep it simple, here are some scenarios that you can consider to minimize healthcare-associated infection.
- For visibly soiled: If it looks dirty, change it.
- For isolation cases: Change the contaminated curtains as soon as the hospital patients leave.
- For ongoing cases: Change them quarterly or when the infection control suggests.
Cleaning or Changing Issues
While the cubicle curtain serves its purpose, cleaning and changing them might be a problem due to the following issues.
- Many hospitals do not have a cleaning process or changing policy.
- Many organizations do not keep documentation for cubicle curtain changes.
- The institution lacks room for storing sufficient inventory.
- Laundering is time-consuming and slows down the patient room turnaround time.
- Some curtain systems require additional resources for installation.
Tips on Curtain’s Cleaning and Maintenance
Some may find it tough to change curtains regularly, or when needed. Here are some helpful tips that can guide you to increase your infection prevention efforts.
Consider a Full-Service Program
Go for a launderer that offers a complete service in managing hospital privacy curtains. They should deliver clean textiles, change them regularly, perform inventory, and provide documentation of the change. Also, a good partner must inspect the curtains and replace permanently stained or damaged ones at no cost to the clients.
Ensure Laundering Has The Best Practice
The launderer must be dedicated to the healthcare industry to ensure hygienically clean environmental services. They must comply with the requirements given by the credentialing bodies.
Require Proof of Compliance
Ask about the inventory management and documentation process that they use. A perfect partner will leverage their services using technology to minimize errors.
Focus on Safety Solutions
Handling privacy curtain contamination should be simple and safe. Look for providers that can handle necessary cubicle curtain cleaning and offer simplified systems.
Avoid Additional Capital Expendat8r
Purchasing new curtains for the facility, including patient care areas and intensive care units, may eat up a lot in the budget. Choose a launderer that allows panel rentals to prevent large upfront costs.
Choose a Simplified Privacy Curtain System
Get a partner that offers various services, such as same-sized panels to accommodate inconsistent ceiling heights. This will allow quick removal and replacement of the cubicle curtains due to the same size of the panels.
Hospital Curtains: The Experts
At Drapery Manufacturing Inc., we offer the perfect solution for your spaces, including health care facilities. Our services include manufacturing and supplying superior quality and clean privacy curtains for your facility. To learn more about our products, contact us directly and experience excellent customer service.