An estimated 300,000 patients a year in England acquire a healthcare‑associated infection as a result of care within the NHS.
Healthcare-associated infections can develop either as a direct result of healthcare intervention (such as medical or surgical treatment) or from being in contact with a healthcare setting. By nature, this makes their prevalence unacceptable – patients, of course, come to seek medical attention so they can recover, not to pick up new illnesses.
In order to prevent the negative impact of HCAIs on patient health and institutional reputation, a robust infection control procedure is a must. As one of the most prominent carriers of bacteria, management of human waste – such as disposing of or cleaning bedpans – is essential to any infection control procedure, and centres around activity in the sluice room.
Today, no sluice room is complete without the technology that secures the most effective methods of infection control – bedpan washer disinfectors and pulp macerators. Although far more reliable than the equivalent manual process (such as washing bedpans by hand), all machinery requires maintenance in order to perform at its best.
The question is – should you invest in a servicing schedule, or simply deal with maintenance issues when they occur?
There are numerous reasons why a service schedule will not only support your infection control procedures, but actively prevent an infection crisis.
Here’s our top 10:
1. Maximise Uptime
Regular servicing will allow your sluice room machinery to avoid common faults and therefore increase the amount of time where it works flawlessly. As a result, your infection control procedure can rely on its Plan A, without needing to resort to less reliable methods during machine downtime.
2. Improve Clinician Efficiency
Your infection control procedure is most effective when underpinned by reliable machinery.
Not only will your clinicians be able to perform waste management duties in the safest possible way, but also the quickest – without compromising safety. This is, after all, why you purchased your sluice room equipment in the first place.
Should your sluice room equipment break down, your clinicians will be forced to use outdated methods to dispose of waste. Both potentially unsafe and inefficient, keeping your machinery in good working order with regular servicing –therefore ensuring maximum availability – is always of preference.
3. Greater Patient Satisfaction
Clinicians who are able to work efficiently can spend more time at the bedside, as opposed to carrying out time-consuming, manual tasks.
As a result, the benefits of well-serviced, reliable machinery will be felt profoundly by those in your care; and not only in terms of health benefits.
When clinicians aren’t caught up in unexpected auxiliary tasks (such as washing bedpans by hand during a period of machine downtime), they have greater availability to provide hands-on support.
Ultimately, patients will feel more relaxed – as well as confident in your ability – when your infection control procedures are in hand.
In the majority of healthcare facilities, budgets are tight and surprise costs are never welcome.
Planned servicing shouldn’t be regarded as ‘another cost’. Rather, it is an investment that prevents further, unpredictable expense.
After all, without good servicing, breakdown costs are inevitable – all machines require a degree of maintenance to keep them working as intended.
Furthermore, should you purchase a 360° Service package from DDC Dolphin, you’ll automatically receive a discount on callout charges; so even damage due to user error will be less of a hit on your finances.
Servicing will also help to save money through smaller efficiencies, which you may not be able to spot yourself – such as ensuring that water pathways in your machine are damage and leak-free, preventing unnecessary water wastage.
5. Increase Lifetime Value
When it comes to CAPEX expenditure, you need to see a return on your investment.
Servicing will reduce your overall maintenance issues, allowing you to enjoy a financial return in terms of efficiency and fewer outbreaks of HCAIs; the latter, in particular, being extremely expensive to rectify.
Servicing will also delay the need for machine replacement, so you can receive significantly more miles for your money.
The value doesn’t stop there. With DDC Dolphin’s 360° Service offering, we can also provide you with detailed machine reporting, to help you interpret test results, plan your asset requirements and better budget for your CAPEX needs.
With the help of a comprehensive service package, your infection control procedure will make good business sense.
6. Protect Yourself from Invisible Risk
Not all sluice room machinery faults are visible. Without regular inspection from an expert, would you know that efficiency was being compromised – before your patients became ill?
With regular servicing, an experienced engineer will check that your machine is reaching its correct parameters; for example, if you’re using a washer disinfector, the required temperature and duration for thermal disinfection.
Better yet, DDC Dolphin can service and maintain all makes and models of sluice room machinery – so you needn’t use more than one supplier.
7. Remain Compliant
Servicing with DDC Dolphin includes validation testing of your appliances to NHS periodic testing guidelines. So there’s no need to fear your next CQC inspection – your testing records will be up-to-date, and you’ll be able to prove that your infection control procedures are backed by dependable sluice room machinery.
8. Comprehensive Asset Management
When you choose a DDC Dolphin’s 360° Service package, you’ll benefit from a dedicated customer service team and your own personal account manager.
With this continuous overview, you’ll never miss a service or need to worry about overspending. We’ll even make recommendations on staff training, testing, cleaning, scale management and chemical requirements, to ensure that your infection control procedure has the support it needs to succeed.
9. Protect Your Staff
It’s your facility’s responsibility to ensure that all healthcare machinery is safe for employees to use.
To assist you with this duty, DDC Dolphin’s 360° Service includes a check for all fixings inside your macerator or washer disinfector chamber, to ensure that they’re tight and damage free. Checks such as these are all part of ensuring that staff can safely deliver your infection control procedures, without being put at risk.
10. Servicing to Suit Your Needs
DDC Dolphin will make sure that the individual needs of your facility are met with three distinct levels of service – so you can invest in what you need, not what you don’t.
We’re even happy to offer a full site survey to help determine which 360° Service package will suit your facility best.