Introduction Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs) continue to pose a major burden on healthcare facilities around the world with major human and financial consequences. Furthermore, infectious diseases acquired while on-the-job continue to be a significant cause of morbidity and fatality of healthcare workers. It is difficult to deny that more needs to be done to control hazardous infectious agents and protect patients and workers from exposure.
Methods Industrial hygiene approaches to environmental and workplace hazardous infectious agents including anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control were used as the foundation to re-evaluate infectious agents in the healthcare environment. The latest advances in the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls were investigated including engineering, administrative measures, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment.
Result The field of industrial hygiene has been expanding at a rapid pace to support the needs of infection control in healthcare. New technologies are being demonstrated and implemented on several fronts. The ability of hospitals to protect patients by reducing HAIs can be influenced by the ability to effectively utilise the new industrial hygiene approaches to infection control. In addition to protecting patients, the likelihood of worker infections will also be reduced.
Discussion Industrial hygiene approaches to infection control in healthcare are sometimes misunderstood and often underutilised. The advantages of integrating new technologies in identifying, and then destroying infections agents in the hospital environment, demonstrates significant potential for protecting both patients and workers from communicable diseases acquired in the healthcare system.
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