Reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections

Hospital-acquired infections are a major problem in the medical industry and can lead to serious illness and even death. Most of these infections are preventable with careful hygiene control, and there are solutions hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes can implement to reduce the risk of infection and therefore improve patient outcomes, while reducing financial and human resource burdens.

It’s estimated that annually across the Australian health care sector, surgical site infections could be costing as much as $268 million per year and that up to $686 million is incurred managing the impact of bloodstream infections.

(source: Macquarie University Research: Healthcare Associated Infections)

Understanding The Social and Economic Impact of Healthcare-Associated Infections.

In Australian health facilities, there are approximately 165,000 healthcare associated infections (HAIs) each year, according to the Clinical Excellence Commission (NSW). In addition to causing significant personal suffering for patients, HAIs are a major strain on healthcare resources.

According to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, common healthcare-associated infections include

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Surgical site infection
  • Pneumonia
  • Bloodstream infection
  • Central line and peripheral line associated bloodstream infection
  • Multi-resistant organism
  • Infection associated with prosthetics/implantable devices
  • Gastrointestinal infection

HAIs can be transmitted through contaminated hand-touch sites found on high-risk objects like inpatient room chairs for instance, so it’s important to manage the physical environment and its role in infection prevention, acquisition, and spreading.

Infection prevention makes good sense, both socially and economically.

Reducing the risk of hospital acquired infections in Patient Rooms through furniture design

While it’s unlikely healthcare- acquired infections will ever be eradicated, they can certainly be reduced by the provision of patient care that minimises risks to clients. Access to equipment (including furniture) and devices which are conducive to the prevention and efficient management of HAIs is a key factor in risk minimisation.

Reduce Your Risk of HAIs,

When it comes to infection control, a hygienic environment is paramount and relies upon thorough and routine environmental cleaning, consistent with relevant national standards.

Accordingly, when it comes to healthcare equipment and furnishings, the Provincial Infections Diseases Advisory Committee has stated, “If you can’t clean it, don’t buy it.”


The right equipment supports a sterile environment and can assist with infection risk minimisation and control.

Here are just a few of the innovative products that can minimise your risk of healthcare-associated infections.

Solid and Durable HPL Overbed Table

Overbed tables often have laminated or vinyl-wrapped tops, which can easily be damaged with heavy use, cleaning and impact, causing edge delamination or the surface material to chip. Once the substrate material is exposed, proper disinfection and infection control are impossible.

The HPL Overbed Table, with its solid surface of compact High Pressure Laminate (HPL), eliminates this concern. HPL is one of the most durable surfaces available for use in a clinical setting.

Designed in a range of contemporary colour options to match bedside lockers, the HPL Overbed Table supports hygiene control with the following features:

  • ^Superior, hygienic top that is heat, spill, scratch and impact resistant
  • [Unique grooved edge to catch spills

Moulded Polyurethane ArmCaps For Easy Cleaning

Most patient and visitor chairs are made of hospital-grade vinyl that can be kept clean when intact, but when tears or holes impact the surface, potential problems arise.

Chair arms are padded to protect the patient’s skin, but the tradeoff is in resistance to wear and tear. Chair arms are usually the first part to be damaged due to impact with surrounding objects, or heavy use.

When the vinyl or fabric of a chair has become compromised, it cannot be cleaned to proper infection control standards. For this reason, Dalcross offers chairs, sofas, and recliners that have polyurethane arm caps which makes them durable and longer-lasting, as well as easy to clean and hygienic.

The moulded armcaps found on our SanFran Recliner Chairs, Washington Sofa Bed, and Verve High Back Patient Chairs include the following hygiene control features:
  • [Easy to clean and keep sanitised
  • [Resistant to water, oil and mould
  • [Long lasting and impact resistant
  • [Replaceable when damaged

ABS – The game changer in eliminating crevices

The Standard Bedside Locker with ABS Top is unlike typical bedside lockers which can trap dust and dirt in the corners or between the timber edging. The ABS top is durable and makes for easy cleaning and efficient hygiene control.

Likewise, ABS is a feature of our Quattro cart range, and ensures carts are easily kept clean to minimise infection risk.

When statistically such a high number of patients are anticipated to contract an infection while in a healthcare facility, it makes sense to take every possible precaution to avoid this and proactively adopt infection minimisation strategies. Avoiding infections, which can range from mild to life-threatening and have an enormous impact on patient recovery times, costs and quality of care, begins with maintaining a hygienic environment.

Dalcross Medical Equipment has been helping improve patient care, comfort and facility safety for over 40 years. As an Australian owned manufacturer and importer of high-quality medical equipment designed specifically for use in hospitals and other clinical settings where hygiene levels must be maintained at the highest possible standard, you can rely on our products to support a healthy and hygienic environment.
Is it time to upgrade furniture to better manage hygiene control?
3 Forge Place, PO Box 3094, Narellan NSW 2567

Ph: 02 4647 7777
Fax: 02 4647 8509
[email protected]

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