Every year a GP surgery will hold thousands of patient consultations with the general population it serves. Research suggests that an average patient will visit their GP on seven different occasions throughout the year. Most GP visits tend to be routine because of the patient suffering from a mild infection or virus that their doctor can effectively treat. A GP will also supply their patients with healthcare advice on how to manage common illnesses and can signpost the way to other healthcare providers should there be a need to make a referral.
GP surgeries are a vital part of the healthcare of local communities, and they play a key role in raising health awareness in the local population. After the onset of the recent covid-19 pandemic, global populations became acutely aware of the need to minimize the spread of germs and viruses to reduce the infection rate. This article explains three key ways in which GP surgeries routinely act to stop the spread of germs and minimize the risk of infection.
Regular hand washing
GPs are firm proponents of excellent hand hygiene as it is a necessity in their line of work. After contact with every patient, a GP will routinely wash their hands and may use an alcohol-based gel to effectively kill any germs and minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Excellent hand hygiene became an important part of every person’s routine during the covid-19 pandemic, as it was recognized as one of the most effective ways to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. It is a known fact that GPs will be in daily contact with patients who are unwell or suffering from the effects of various illnesses or viruses. The need to protect themselves and their subsequent patients from these conditions is of paramount importance, and, as such, a GP will thoroughly sanitize their hands many times throughout the working day. They will also ensure that they have continuous stocks of sanitizing products for surgery use by making repeat orders with medical suppliers such as medical supermarket, which supplies a wide range of products for GP surgeries.
To ensure that medical equipment is kept perfectly clean and free of germs and viruses, GPs must also rely on sterilization devices. While some items of medical equipment, such as disposable surgical gloves and cannulas, are single-use, many other items are not. There is a need to ensure that such devices are thoroughly clean and free of any potential contaminants after every use on a patient. GPs will have access to autoclave devices on their premises which effectively sanitize medical equipment by subjecting it to high temperatures and pressures that kill any bacteria and viruses that may be on them.
GPs also play a vital role in combatting the spread of germs by being ambassadors for excellent infection control and by offering health education to the populations that they serve. This could be as simple as teaching younger patients the most effective hand-washing techniques to giving information on how to keep wounds and injuries free from infection by using products that are antiseptic as well as promoting the healing of affected areas. GPs are recognized as being experts on a range of healthcare topics, including how to minimize the spread of infections, and their advice has been used to educate patients for generations.