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What To Consider When Disinfecting Hospital Rooms With UVC Light

It is well established in infection prevention practice that surfaces in hospital rooms are continually contaminated by infectious pathogens. The sources of these dangerous pathogens range from people who enter the room with contaminated hands and compromised clothing, from contaminated instruments and items that are brought in and out of the room like personal and enterprise issued mobile devices, and from the patient themselves. In addition, the air entering the room is not sterile and deposits pathogen containing fomites which settle onto all the surfaces adding to the degree of bio burden compromise.

It is also well established that the accumulated pathogens residing on high touch surfaces are then transferred onto bare or gloved hands and clothing of nurses, doctors, visitors, and environmental workers when touched, which in turn puts patients at great risk since they or their immediate surroundings are consequently contaminated by touch transfer mechanisms. Hence, even perfect attention to between patient visit hand sanitation by healthcare workers (HCWs); 100% compliance, and effective sanitization of hands to – 4 log10 inactivation, (99.99%); which is not currently achieved), will leave the hands contaminated while performing tasks within the room. This situation is judged to be unavoidable.

Accordingly, the ultimate solution espoused by WHO is hand sanitation immediately prior to patient contact; the Five Special Moments (‘FSM’), so that patients or the patient’s surroundings are not contaminated as a result of attention or care from a healthcare worker, attendant, or a visitor. Currently, the use of alcohol rubs just prior to contact is recommended by WHO for hand sanitation despite the fact that during a shift 100 or more alcohol rub hand sanitations, each taking at least 30 seconds, almost one hour dedicated to hand sanitation per shift, would be required. Moreover alcohol rub is not free of hand irritation and is totally ineffective on spores such as C. diff and some viruses. Hand washing is usually less effective, takes more time and is generally more irritating. There is no currently available product that can meet the WHO FSM requirement so it remains an objective, but not yet a reality.

As a response to problematic hand hygiene, a number of companies are now offering UV-C-based, room disinfection devices which have as their purpose to supplement terminal cleaning. They nominally sanitize room surfaces in as little as 15 minutes, and by lowering bio burden levels, help to minimize additional contamination of hands and clothing when the surfaces are contacted later. This sanitation process must be carried out in a vacant room due to the dangers UV-C poses to unprotected eyes, so it is generally performed only after patient discharge and cleaning by environmental workers.

To understand the efficacy of this approach, it is important to recognize that to inactivate pathogens, especially hardy C. difficile endospores, to the nominal – 4 log10 or 99.99% sanitation level in 15 minutes, typically requires a direct, continuous, line of sight UV-C dose for the entire 900 second period on the entire surface area. Keeping in mind that UV-C intensity of a source falls off with dramatically with distance from that source. This approach could be effective in sanitizing most of a room’s surfaces from normal incidence rays falling directly on these surfaces. This would be the case for walls, which are actually not touch surfaces in most cases.

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, Healthcare Technology, Methods of Decontamination, Tablet Disinfection

How to Make Mobile Device Disinfection Part of Your BYOD Policy

When developing a BYOD policy, most businesses put the majority of their focus on the major elements of the program (i.e. cost and security). This seems logical, considering that developing a clear road map that outlines a secure, cost-efficient plan is the heart of any major implementation. However, there is still one critical element that is often overlooked when creating these implementation plans: disinfection.

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, BYOD

Will a Mobile Device BYOD Policy Really Save You Money?

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, BYOD

Mobile Device Maintenance: Should You Clean or Disinfect?

The New York Times recently published a great article entitled “Cleaning the Mobile Germ Warehouse” that does a great job of emphasizing all of the grime that builds up on your mobile devices and the germs that come with that. This article offers great insight on how to clean your mobile devices, but is cleaning alone enough?

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, Methods of Decontamination

An Approach to Preventing the Nightmare Bacteria

Frontline recently released a documentary called “Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.” It details the accounts of three separate stories, happening in completely different parts of the world at the same time. All of these stories are connected by one thing: potentially deadly bacteria with no treatable medicines. Below is a very basic summary of the documentary along with a key takeaway from a disinfection standpoint.   

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, Healthcare Technology, Health Stats, Infection Prevention, Methods of Decontamination, Healthcare Acquired Infection, Healthcare, HAI

The Importance of Disinfection in Preventing the Flu

The influenza virus, most commonly referred to as the flu, sickens roughly 13-20% of the United States each year. Symptoms can range from uncomfortable but manageable to requiring hospitalization. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized yearly, and complications that can arise from the flu include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of existing medical conditions like congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. In children, sinus and ear problems are also common. The very young, very old, pregnant women, and immune-compromised patients are at higher risk for severe infections and complications. Roughly 2,000 people are estimated to die from the flu each year in this country.

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Tags: Managing Disinfection

The Importance of Disinfecting Tablets & Other High Touch Surfaces

Most people enter the hospital hoping to feel better after they leave, but for 1.7 million Americans every year, this simply isn’t the case. Hospital Acquired Infections, also called HAIs or nosocomial infections, are infections that a hospital patient can develop as a result of their hospital stay (Martin & McFerran, 2008). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that roughly 99,000 deaths each year are related to HAIs (Klevens et al., 2007). 

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, Healthcare Technology, Infection Prevention, Healthcare Acquired Infection, Healthcare, HAI, Health IT, BYOD, Tablet Disinfection

Keep a Clean Routine with the CleanMe App for iPhone & iPad

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Tags: Managing Disinfection, CleanMe

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