Dr. Noha Abdel Mohsen, Infection Control Manager at Saudi German Hospital Riyadh, MSc, CIC in conversation with Clean Middle East.
With so many people pouring in everyday, how do you ensure cleanliness and hygiene all the time?
Our in house staff are credited for making sure that all of the hospital's facilities and equipment are well maintained- clean and free of any unwanted germs and bacteria. In addition to this, staff are continuously trained and educated by our infection control department on ways to ensure hygiene and cleanliness across the hospital. Rigorous checks are also followed to ensure compliance to the set processes.
How is the cleaning staff trained before they set out to work? How often are they trained?
Once hired, our housekeepers immediately undergo orientation and intensive training programs that teach and educate them about the various methods of cleaning, terminal cleaning and disinfection of patient rooms, especially areas handling infectious diseases.
What are the best cleaning and hygiene practices followed at the Saudi German Hospital? What are the latest products and technologies that you use?
At present, our in-house cleaners use highly effective cleaning agents and equipment, including precept tablets, quaternary ammonium compound, chlorhexidine and hydrogen peroxide fumigation. We also use ultraviolet rays to disinfect our operating rooms and isolation rooms.
What steps do you take towards inculcating hand hygiene amongst your staff?
At Saudi German Hospital, we strongly encourage and promote a culture of overall hygiene especially for hands. In fact, compliance increases from year to year through an initiative that celebrates hand hygiene day where we recognize outstanding performances of employees, hold competitions and engage the teams to motivate them and increase compliance rates.
Tell us about the policies of your infection control department. What steps do you take to reduce HAIs?
Our policies include a wellestablished IC program aimed at reducing the number of healthcare Associated Infections (HAI), through educating the team on the precautions to take when dealing with isolation cases, immunization of the staff, environmental sanitation, hand hygiene, waste management and all other measurements of patient safety.
How do you ensure indoor air quality?
Saudi German Hospital places key understanding on the importance of maintaining indoor air quality. To ensure that the air is clean and crisp to breathe, we have placed air curtains on the main entry door, hepa filters in critical areas and ultraviolet rays in OR rooms. Our team also runs tests on air samples to make sure that the amount of air particles inside the hospital is up to standards.
What measures do you take to ensure there is no germ transmission/cross contamination?
As earlier pointed, our inhouse staff of cleaners make sure that everything is spotless and clean. Frequent terminal cleaning and fumigation are done in isolation for critical areas like the ICU and NICU, screening patients coming from other hospitals, serology for patients before they undergo a surgical procedure and place infected cases at the end of the list.
Have you considered automation in cleaning and facility management? How so?
At this stage, we are exploring different options for advanced machines, which disinfect using hot water and steam.
How do you monitor the cleaning regime?
The cleaning process entails a detailed system of how things should be properly done to ensure cleanliness and hygiene. We conduct regular audits to ensure that the processes set in place are followed. We also ensure that our employees understand that the hospital’s hygiene is also for their own safety.
What steps do you take to disinfect the hospital?
Our staff implements a disinfection process that makes use of cleaning agents like precept, Clorox or quaternary ammoniums compound and using disinfectant wipes for surfaces. As an added precaution, we also perform environmental swabs or florescent detector or ATPASE after cleaning.
What out of the box cleaning solutions or practices should we expect from Saudi German Hospital in the coming years?
To maintain a clean and safe facility by using materials that are not toxic to the environment and are user-friendly.
What are your plans in terms of sustainable cleaning?
We are looking at further involving the patient in the evaluation of the cleaning process and improving how materials are used, as well as automating the disinfection process.