Different Ways Doctors Prevent Infections in Their Practices

Courtesy of Houston Methodist

No one wants to visit a hospital or GP practice only to leave with an infection. Over the past century, we have discovered numerous ways in which infections are transmitted and how people become infected in various healthcare settings. These discoveries have led to the development of protocols that help doctors and other healthcare professionals prevent infections in healthcare settings.

Hand Washing

Washing hands is the most basic way healthcare professionals prevent the transmission of pathogens from one patient to another and from surfaces to patients. Healthcare professionals handle lots of items and touch many surfaces during their shifts. 

Even though healthcare facilities are sanitised regularly, the number of patients walking through them prevents them from being completely pathogen-free. Hand washing prevents these pathogens from reaching patients.

Healthcare professionals also combine hand washing with regular sanitising and gloves to further protect their patients, especially when dealing with situations where patients are highly infectious.

Using Physical Barriers

Maintaining a safe physical distance and creating a sterile environment for medical procedures is vital in preventing illnesses in hospital settings. Safe physical distances prevent the transmission of airborne and respiratory illnesses, especially when pathogens are highly infectious. We saw physical barriers used extensively during the pandemic, with research showing that they help prevent infections in these settings.

A sterile environment is crucial regardless of the procedure. Physical barriers start with the masks and personal protective equipment doctors and other practitioners wear and extend to curtains that create partitions during patient care and management. 

Antimicrobial curtains have become widely used in such settings in recent years, with disposable ones preventing illnesses and saving time in different healthcare settings. The medical curtains from medical-supermarket.com, for example, are easy to use and hook up, and they can be disposed of safely once their use has been exhausted.

Use of Single-use Equipment

As the name implies, single-use medical equipment is only meant to be used once and then discarded. This equipment includes those that come into contact with transmitting body fluids like blood and saliva. Examples of such equipment include syringes and needles.

Because this equipment comes into contact with body fluids that can transmit infections, it should be discarded appropriately after use. In most cases, they are destroyed immediately after use and then incinerated later, killing all pathogens they may be carrying.


Even with most of the equipment used in hospitals being single-use only, sanitization is still used to prevent infection in some instances and for different types of hospital equipment. Medical equipment is sterilised in various ways, including using UV light, ethylene oxide, steam, radiation, dry heat, hydrogen peroxide and chlorine dioxide. Such sterilized equipment is then used in sterile settings where the risk of infections is high. Additionally, equipment can also be used in other settings, with the level of sterilization required determined by specific circumstances. For example, clothing worn by patients and doctors would be cleaned by Industrial Washing Equipment to sterilize hospital clothing to prevent the spread of infection and disease from one patient to the next, and to keep up with hygiene rules and regulations to create a clean and safe environment for everyone.

In healthcare, preventing infections is essential for doctors and other professionals. Doing so is especially important when single or multiple patients present with serious or highly infectious illnesses. Regardless, doctors and healthcare professionals must prevent infections in all instances.

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