Every use of water in patient care settings must be scrutinized and evaluated for its risk to harbour and transmit healthcare-associated pathogens. Even hospital sink drains and toilets can pose a risk for harbouring antibiotic resistant pathogens that can spread to patients and cause harm. Therefore, it is vital to continuously perform water sampling and testing to ensure there are no harmful pathogens in the hospital water system.
The Risk of Infection
Water-borne pathogens can cause many health complications such as pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infection, bacteremia (sepsis), as well as Legionnaires’ disease. Everyone within a health-care setting is at risk, especially when contaminated water droplets makes their way out of the water outlets into the atmosphere. Also, coming in direct contact with contaminated water through touch or direct consumption can be fatal and cause severe complications, as well as increasing the probability of an outbreak.
The Most Susceptible
Immunocompromised, elderly and children are amongst the most vulnerable individuals to diseases associated with water-borne pathogens. Also, staff and visitors are susceptible, and they may act as carriers, hence increasing the risk of cross-contamination across different departments within the healthcare setting.
Did you know?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDC consider it essential that hospitals and nursing homes have a water management program that is effective in limiting Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens¹.
How Inivos Can Help
Our water microbiological testing service can be delivered as both an on-call service for emergency situations, a specific area or a project or as a scheduled managed service contract. Our work is carried out in compliance with all relevant health and safety regulations. This enables us to reduce the risk of a patient acquiring and infection whilst in hospital, by reducing the number of reservoirs available for dangerous pathogens to multiply in.
In addition to testing and sampling your water for potential pathogens, we also decontaminate and disinfect the surrounding areas of your water outlets and systems, to ensure full elimination of harmful and unwanted microorganisms. In addition to that, we can provide you with decontamination services in Bathrooms, sluices, boiler rooms and water sampling and testing for your water outlets and water system flushing. Our services are available to all hospitals in the UK.
Our experienced technicians will perform all the required steps prior to taking samples for analysis. This includes fully inspecting the systems to ensure there are no potential issues or to make notes when issues do exist within the water systems to provide fully accurate results and perform any required maintenance. Also, they will liaise with the clients to discuss the testing requirements and obtain all the needed information of the water outlets and systems. Our technicians will also adhere to the health and safety guidelines and are always equipped with personal protective equipment to minimize the risk carrying unwanted pathogens.
Our sampling technicians will follow different sampling procedures for legionella and P.aeruginosa as they both require different methods of sampling. They will take every step to ensure safe sampling and transportation of samples to the closest laboratory facility and to minimize dispersing of unwanted infectious particles over the environment. Should results be positive, works would be recommended as required to remove the infection, and further sampling would take place before and after any flushing or other remedial works, to ensure the works have been effective.
On completion of the sampling process, samples will immediately be sent to accredited laboratories. On completion of the laboratory analysis, a report will be
issued, detailing the findings and observations, along with any recommendations for improvement or remedial actions, based on the results obtained.