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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-69

Impact of COVID-19 in non-COVID hospitals: Do we need a pandemic to augment healthcare worker and patient safety?


1 Department of Lab Medicine, Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Hospital Administration, Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission06-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance12-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Areena Hoda Siddiqui
Department of Lab Medicine, Sahara Hospital, Lucknow - 226 010, Uttar Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_34_20

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How to cite this article:
Siddiqui AH, Tripathi H N, Harsvardhan R. Impact of COVID-19 in non-COVID hospitals: Do we need a pandemic to augment healthcare worker and patient safety?. J Patient Saf Infect Control 2020;8:68-9

How to cite this URL:
Siddiqui AH, Tripathi H N, Harsvardhan R. Impact of COVID-19 in non-COVID hospitals: Do we need a pandemic to augment healthcare worker and patient safety?. J Patient Saf Infect Control [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 May 6];8:68-9. Available from: https://www.jpsiconline.com/text.asp?2020/8/2/68/304218



Sir,

COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization.[1] It has affected 213 countries, with 11,033,096 cases in the world till date, and 626,000 cases have been reported from India.[2] It is transmitted by contact, respiratory droplets and during aerosol-generating procedures.[3] Because there is no specific treatment or vaccine available, the only way to combat infection is by implementing infection prevention control (IPC) strategies. Hand hygiene forms the core of standard precaution. The other practices include wearing of personal protective equipment, biomedical waste management, contact precautions and environmental/equipment cleaning and disinfection.

The Government of India has identified COVID-19 hospitals for catering these patients with all the amenities. The other non-COVID-19 healthcare settings have made their own strategies to deal with the pandemic. Patients visiting these hospitals undergo COVID-19 testing by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction prior to their admission. In some cases, hospitals have identified a holding area where the patients get admitted and then tested for COVID-19 virus.

Any positive case is referred and the area is sanitised, and state health protocol is followed.

Therefore, it is found that in hospitals the IPC practices have surged in. During infection control rounds by the stewards, it has been found that infection control protocols are in place and things are being implemented quite pleasantly, which was once a nightmare.

Basic infection control practices are implemented and bloomed in public and private sectors. Primary health centres, community health centres, district health centres and even small nursing homes and individual clinics are participating actively to deal with this pandemic.

These practices are not born today; the infection control stewards have been investing efforts and demanding the implementation of these modalities since ages. Suddenly after the corona outbreak, the compliances have increased. In a paper published, it has been reported that hand hygiene compliances have increased to 89%. Hand hygiene compliances have increased before and after patient contact. Besides nursing staff, it is seen that doctors especially surgeons are performing hand hygiene. Standard precautions are being implemented.[4] The change can be related to a feeling of responsibility and very importantly awareness related to IPC.

Factors related to the implementation of IPC are behavioural change, motivation, awareness and education.[5] In another psychosocial study, it was found that the change in the behaviour of healthcare workers is related to the fear of contracting the infection.[6]

These precautions when implemented play a very important role in breaking the chain of the transmission of the infectious agent at healthcare settings and society. IPC practices result in healthcare worker and patient safety as well.

In this pandemic, there is a sudden proliferation of public health messages focusing on education and information related to hand hygiene (including six steps of hand hygiene), cough etiquettes, social distancing, cleaning and sanitisation.

The important question is that what would be the scenario after the pandemic is over. Will the healthcare workers continue practicing the same or will there be again a decline phase in infection control practices.

The answer to this can be continued awareness programmes which can reinforce and inculcate these practices among all the healthcare workers at every healthcare setting. Another step can be inclusion of the basics of infection control in the curriculum of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, accredited social health activists, Anganwadi workers and pharmacists. This would help in better implementation and better preparedness in the near future.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Cascella M, Rajnik M, Cuomo A, Dulebohn SC, Napoli RD. Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK554776/. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 06].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
SARS-COV-2(COVID-19) Testing Status. Available from: https://www.mygov.in/covid-19. [Last accessed on 2020 Jun 06].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization (WHO). Modes of Transmission of Virus Causing COVID-19: Implications for IPC Precaution Recommendations, 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 30].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Israel S, Harpaz K, Radvogin E, Schwartz C, Gross I, Mazeh H, et al. Dramatically improved hand hygiene performance rates at time of coronavirus pandemic. Clin Microbiol Infect 2020; 1566-1568:S1198 743X (20) 30339 6. [Doi: 10.1016/j.cmi. 2020.06.002].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Siddiqui AH, Srivastava VK, Aneeshamol PP, Prakash C. Hand hygiene: From Semmelweis to present! J Patient Saf Infect Control 2016;4:22-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Harper CA, Satchell LP, Fido D, Latzman RD. Functional Fear Predicts Public Health Compliance in the COVID-19 Pandemic [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 27]. Int J Ment Health Addict. 2020;1-14. doi:10.1007/s11469-020-00281-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
    




 

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