Over a hundred doctors, nurses, medical technologists, hospital supervisors and hospital regulatory officers from different public and private hospitals in NCR and Central Luzon underwent a one-week seminar (June 4-8) on quality disinfection and sterilization standards in local hospitals at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute this June.
Initiated by the Standards Development Division of the Department of Health in partnership with 3M Philippines, the seminar aimed to call attention to the urgent need for improved hospital sterilization standards to lower the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in third world countries like the Philippines.
Dr. Normal Lu, Regional Clinical Consultant from 3M Asia Pacific, Infection Prevention Division, stressed to medical practitioners at the workshop that “infectious diseases are the highest cause of death in human history”. “Inside the operating room, we can prevent this by making surgical instruments free from organic microbes. Failure to follow processes for proper cleaning, sterilizing and packaging of critical medical devices will harm the patient and cause the hospital more damage (in terms of reputation and cost),” Dr. Lu said.
“Patient safety is of utmost importance. Next to treating patients, their safety should be prioritized. Through this workshop, we wanted to establish the ideal sterilization standards and come up with local guidelines that would make our hospitals conform to international standards, such as that of the CDC and AAMI” added Dr. Cynthia Rosuman, Chief of the DOH’s Standards Development Division.
Rosuman said the DOH hopes to put guidelines in place by October 2012 as soon as Secretary Ona gives his approval. “We want to apply this mandate as soon as possible to all health facilities in the country as a requirement for the renewal of license of hospitals which takes place during the last quarter of the year,” she said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by healthcare-associated infections which greatly affect patients’ medical conditions. In the Philippines, over 500,000 patients contract HAIs annually and about 10% of die due to these infections.
HAIs can lead to “prolonged hospital stays, unnecessary long-term disabilities, risk of higher resistance to life-saving medications, additional cost for the patient and family and even death.”
“We at 3M Healthcare are very supportive of this action by the DOH. This is a milestone as far as creating a comprehensive sterilization guideline for local hospitals is concerned. We are happy to be a part of this public health endeavor,” said Bettina Luz, Group Manager for 3M Philippines Health Care Division.