With health care organizations constantly being filled with people, the priority measure to prevent the spread of infections is to keep all surfaces clean. However, since most of the surfaces can act as “reservoirs of microorganisms,” it may take a lot of time and workforce to keep them clean at all times (Querido et al., 2019, p. 9). One way to make the cleaning process is more efficient is using self-cleaning surfaces. Several natural surfaces became resistant to microorganisms’ colonization with evolution, such as “bio-mimicked surfaces of insects’ wings, sharks’ skin, and lotus’ leaves” (Querido et al., 2019, p. 12). Moreover, natural materials such as silver, copper, or zinc have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can liquidate microorganisms. (Querido et al., 2019). These elements can be used in producing anti-adhesive surfaces to prevent infections from spreading; however, the implementation process requires more research.
Another way to minimize the spread of infection is identifying possibly infected people before they enter the facilities. Research conducted in Italy suggests setting up triage stations outside health care organizations to screen the patients before entering (Veritti et al., 2020). If the screening of the patients is not possible, it is suggested to install physical barriers at reception, such as glass or plastic windows (Veritti et al., 2020). These measures are recommended to prevent any direct contact to avoid spreading infections.
The most important measure is to ensure that health care workers are trained and taken care of to prevent the spread of infections. Research suggests regularly checking the staff on the possibility of being infected, such as taking respiratory swabs for COVID-19 (Gan et al., 2020). The research recommends that health care workers should be able to record any changes in their health to get help immediately (Gan et al., 2020). Being in direct contact with patients, health care workers are at the most risk of getting infected and, thus, need to be prepared to prevent the spread of infections at all times.
Gan, W. H., Lim, J. W., & Koh, D. (2020). Preventing intra-hospital infection and transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 in health-care workers. Safety and Health at Work, 11(2), 241-243.
Querido, M. M., Aguiar, L., Neves, P., Pereira, C. C., & Teixeira, J. P. (2019). Self-disinfecting surfaces and infection control. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 178, 8-21.
Veritti, D., Sarao, V., Bandello, F., & Lanzetta, P. (2020). Infection control measures in ophthalmology during the COVID-19 outbreak: A narrative review from an early experience in Italy. European Journal of Ophthalmology, 30(4), 621-628.