We’re in the thick of cold and flu season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to protect your patients, clients, and veterinary staff from acquiring infections in your practice. Published in the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (JAAHA) late last year, the 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines are the first guidelines of their kind and incorporate some of the practice management ideas on which the Relationship Centered Practice Academy has been built.
Here are five reasons you should embrace the 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines:
#1: SOPs, SOPs, and more SOPs
If you know me, you know that I stress the importance of creating standard operating procedures (SOPs) and systems in veterinary practices. They are necessary components of a successful, relationship-centered practice. These guidelines provide SOPs pertaining to:
- Cleaning and disinfection — You’ll learn the difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting” and how to do both properly in your hospital.
- Hand hygiene — Yes, there’s an SOP for how to properly clean and sanitize your hands. And, guess what: Scrubbing before surgery is no longer seen as the only effective way to kill pathogens!
- Personal protective equipment — This SOP explains exactly how to put on and take off personal protective equipment to minimize the spread of infection.
- Identifying high-risk patients — Your team will know the questions to ask on the phone in order to identify a high-risk patient and how to spot one who comes into your hospital.
With these and many more SOPs, everyone on your team will understand what it takes and how to do their part to prevent hospital-acquired infections.
#2: Empowered staff
The guidelines encourage you to empower your staff and choose an “infection control practitioner”—someone on your team who can lead your infection control efforts. It’s an ideal role for that outstanding technician who is craving extra responsibility and hates germs. By elevating her and letting her take ownership of this important task, she’ll feel appreciated and valued, and everyone will win.
#3: More staff training and education
The 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines provide thorough staff training and education materials, including an engaging staff training video, to motivate your team to take ownership of their role in preventing hospital-acquired infections.
As if the SOPs and staff training materials weren’t enough, the guidelines provide personalized checklists of key tasks and other tools to improve compliance.
#5: You’ll protect patients, clients, and team members from hospital-acquired infections
Rather than superficially cleaning your hospital, you’ll be able to effectively clean and disinfect, killing potentially dangerous pathogens that may be lurking. This will help protect your patients, clients, and staff from acquiring infections in your practice.
Learn more about the 2018 AAHA Infection Control, Prevention, and Biosecurity Guidelines, and sign up to be on the waiting list for the Relationship Centered Practice Academy to learn more about how to develop systems and SOPs, empower staff and delegate tasks, and much more.