Aspect #5: Human Behavior
Patients, healthcare workers and visitors interact with surfaces in many ways. Clothing, equipment and hands become contaminated and move pathogens throughout the patient room and the entire facility.
While visiting an acquaintance during a three-day hospital stay, I observed human behavior and the way the patient, staff and visitors interacted with surfaces. The behavior of healthcare workers was fairly common during the patient care process. Most interacted with the same surfaces in the same way and in the same order. Visitors interacted with many of the same surfaces as healthcare workers. However, they also used areas such as the windowsill, bed and chair next to the patient bed, which were often covered with a blanket for the patient to sit on. Visitors also used the patient restroom.
Surfaces typically considered “high touch” would not have been easy to identify, since many people touched all surfaces within three feet of the patient frequently.
It is also interesting to note that EVS cleaned a few surfaces and left others completely untouched.