When readers think of hospitals, images of tile floors, scrubs and antiseptic may come to mind. Those images suggest that many individuals associate medical facilities with sanitary conditions.
However, a recent article suggests that nursing homes and health centers may need to overhaul their dress code to maintain sanitary conditions. In contrast to operating rooms – where there are strict guidelines – the dress code for other hospital employees are not always regulated. This could give rise to infection.
In one study, researchers found that one-third of doctors’ neckties contained the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (i.e., staph infection). Researchers also discovered that 7 out of every 10 doctors admitted to never cleaning their neckties. Lab coats are another potential breeding ground for germs. Compared to scrubs, another survey indicated that lab coats might get washed only every 12 days.
“Healthcare-associated infections” is the term used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to describe infections that patients might develop in the course of receiving treatment. HAIs are more common than readers might realize: around five percent of America’s hospitalized patients develop an HAI each day. Not surprisingly, the CDC also issues an infection prevention checklist, which can be an important resource for patients who suspect that negligent care resulted in an infection.
Yet proving that a health facility or doctor deviated from established guidelines can be a difficult endeavor. Simply getting all of the factual background information, such as the facility’s existing standards for preventing infection, can be met with resistance. For that reason, choosing a medical malpractice attorney as one’s advocate can help injured patients get the resources they need.
Source: USA Today, “Germy lab coats and ties prompt dress code for doctors,” Kim Painter, Jan. 21, 2014