At the end of September, hospitality company Sodexo launched a brand-new, improved evidence-based infection prevention approach and control for hospitals. The new proposition aims to go beyond simply ensuring that surfaces are visibly clean, instead using new training, practices, specialists and technologies to help safeguard both patients and staff. Reducing and preventing the spread of infectious diseases is absolutely crucial to ensuring the health and safety of staff and patients, now more than ever. Whilst COVID-19 has made disinfection even more of a priority for hospitals, traditional Healthcare-associated infections (HCAI’s) still pose an enormous risk within hospital and healthcare environments, and will continue to do so.
Sodexa’s new improved infection prevention approach is called Protecta, and it offers a range of infection control and deep cleaning services to help contain, mitigate and control the risk of HCAI outbreaks.
Outbreaks of HCAI’s can pose a serious threat to the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff within hospitals and healthcare sites. HCAI’s also lead to delayed patient discharges and increased costs within hospitals.
The four most common types of HCAI’s are related to ‘invasive devices’ or surgical procedures, and include catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI), surgical site infections (SSI), and ventilator associated events (VAE).
In fact, approximately 834,000 patients will acquire a preventable infection in an NHS hospital in England every year, leading to around 28,500 deaths annually from one of these preventable infections, and 21% of beds taken up by HCAI patients every year. The cost of managing these patients is three times higher than managing a patient without one.
Sodexo’s launch of Protecto follows its recently announced partnership with the Infection Prevention Society (IPS) and globally leading workplace hygiene brand, Tork, to introduce a new Environment, Cleaning and Decontamination (ECD) programme supporting infection prevention practitioners to tackle the spread of healthcare associated infections. Protecta will bring together highly trained frontline teams and a ‘best in class’ range of cleaning solutions.
Comprising of technologies, processes and training, Protecta will promote and support the adoption of best practices in cleaning and decontamination, helping to hospitals fight against HCAI’s and meet national standards of healthcare and cleanliness. The programme has already been deployed in the USA and has been proven to reduce clostridium difficile (C.diff) by 53%, MRSA by 70% and completely eliminate COVID-19 from surfaces.
Protecta will include strict procedures for equipment cleaning and carrying out specialist disinfection with the right chemicals and deploying technology in the right places. This is all key to controlling future and potentially dangerous outbreaks.
There will be a range of technology solutions on offer to meet the specific needs of hospitals or healthcare centres, including audit management software, hygienic and safe modules trolley systems, single use microfibre mops for high risk areas, a range of specialist chemicals, and new and powerful electrical cleaning equipment. This innovative equipment includes HPV and UVC decontamination systems and robotic floor cleaners.
Lauren Kyle, the Head of Cleaning for Sodexo UK & Ireland, commented that ‘the pandemic has raised awareness of the critical role cleaning professionals have in helping to keep healthcare settings safe and clean. The introduction of Protecta further supports this through a consistent outcome-focused cleaning service which uses clinical science and experience to deploy relevant products and practices appropriate to each healthcare setting.’
As part of the programme Sodexo have launched the Protecta Training Academy to offer staff a formal development pathway. The academy will teach industry-leading specialist Infection Prevention modules will provide comprehensive training and give staff the chance to be recognised and certified throughout. The new Protecta Centres of Excellence Programme means partners can work with Sodexo to ‘blaze a trail’ in cleaning and disinfection advancement and the opportunity to deploy some of the most advanced technologies and systems available.
The rapidity and constant evolvement of the pandemic has proved that hospitals and centres of healthcare need to be continually improving and changing the way that these places are cleaned to ensure they are safe for both patients and staff. For Protecta this includes employing best practices, standardisation and new and powerful technologies, but it also includes training and developing staff to ensure that they are constantly learning and improving, both for themselves, and for the safety of the patients and the hospitals.
Read more about Protecta here.