IP and EVS as a Dynamic Duo: The Importance of Partnership

Author: Holly Montejano, MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC

Categories: General Infection Prevention, Layered Approach & UVC July 6, 2022

Decision-making in healthcare typically benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach.  The expertise and considerations presented during a decision-making process by those with different perspectives and backgrounds provide insights that may not otherwise be shared.  The partnership between infection prevention and environmental services, including representatives from leadership and frontline staff, ensures that issues and concerns with products and processes are effectively addressed so that when implementation occurs there is a healthy understanding of the “why” accompanying the change.

Both IP and EVS, along with facility leadership and frontline staff, need to assess the benefits of adding UVC technology to their environmental disinfection processes.  Anderson, et al., discuss the considerations of UVC technology implementation which extends beyond just the IP and EVS partnership to also include bed management1.  This is a critical inclusion in the efficiency of implementing a layered approach (standard disinfection with UVC technology supplement) within a facility. Bed management administrators round out the trifecta of prioritizing which rooms receive the layered approach for disinfection1 (this, of course, is based on facility policy and usually includes contact isolation rooms). CAD technology consideration is a conversation that should include IP and EVS prior to implementation due to nuances of use.  IP and EVS need to work together to identify areas of the hospital that are frequently overlooked during surface disinfection processes, and/or areas that are frequently re-contaminated after disinfection.

The Importance of Literature

In addition to product selection, the partnership between EVS and IP is also critical to successful practice with compelling support found in the literature. An interesting poster abstract by Stout, et al., discusses the development of an IP and EVS guidebook to maintain the healthcare environment and prevent the spread of microorganisms2.  This guidebook is comprehensive, covering multiple topics such as best practices and ongoing quality assurance initiatives in a standardized manner with the additional benefit of enhancing survey readiness.  Both electronic and hard copy formats are available for continuous education and new hire orientation2. Brown, et al., studied the impacts of the IP and EVS partnership on the incidence of Clostridioides difficile (CDI)3.  EVS staff was educated regarding the importance of their role in the disinfection process and a quantitative performance measure (fluorescent marker) was implemented during IP audits.

Various high-touch areas within the room were fluorescently marked prior to room cleaning, and results were collegially reviewed with the housekeeper.  During the study period, IPs also regularly provided education during EVS meetings and a recognition program with certificates reinforcing optimal performance (achieving a 100% score on the room audit)3.  The authors concluded that the partnership of EVS and IP using non-punitive education (i.e., disinfectant contact times) and appropriate supplies (i.e., extra-large bleach wipes) led to improved terminal cleaning and was associated with decreased incidence of CDI 3.

Working together, IP and EVS have the capability to provide support and constructive feedback to their own teams for product selection and to re-enforce practice and drive quality disinfection programs within their facility.

  1. Anderson, Deverick J., et al. “Implementation lessons learned from the benefits of enhanced terminal room (BETR) disinfection study: process and perceptions of enhanced disinfection with ultraviolet disinfection devices.” Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology2 (2018): 157-163.
  2. Stout, Savanna, et al. “Best Friends Forever–Environmental Services and Infection Prevention’s Guide to Environmental Cleaning.” American Journal of Infection Control8 (2020): S26.
  3. Brown, Vickie, et al. “Building a Partnership to Reduce C. Difficile.” American Journal of Infection Control6 (2014): S134-S135.

Author

Holly Montejano MS, CIC, CPHQ, VA-BC
holly Clinical Science Liaison, PDI Gulf Coast

Profile

Holly’s passion for infectious disease epidemiology developed during her undergraduate studies at University of Connecticut, where she studied biology and anthropology – and the profound impact of disease on people, public health and within healthcare systems. This passion led to a graduate program focused in infectious disease epidemiology and a post-graduate epidemic intelligence service (EIS) fellowship in public health, and a graduate certification in infection control at the University of South Florida.

After several years as a public health epidemiologist, Holly transitioned into infection prevention and healthcare epidemiology where she currently is part of a dynamic clinical affairs team, supporting the Gulf Coast region as a Clinical Science Liaison (CSL).

Contact

Phone: 321.439.7923

Company Website: Pdihc.com

Email: Holly.Montejano@pdihc.com

Hobbies

Interior design
Beach staycations
Little League baseball and softball

Education

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Bachelor of Science in Biology and Anthropology

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Master of Science in Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences (Epidemiology and Infectious Disease)

Certification
Certification Board of Infection Control (CBIC)- CIC
Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (NAHQ)- CPHQ
Vascular Access- Board Certified (VA-BC)
Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification
Prosci Change Management Certification

Why I love what I do

Infectious disease epidemiology – from both a biological and anthropological standpoint – have always been a passion of mine. Studying the effects of disease on populations (from a public health standpoint and from that of an Infection Preventionist) has fueled my interest in patient safety and quality outcomes initiatives. My work of providing clinical expertise and evidence-based guidance on infection prevention products (which are used in communities and healthcare systems daily) bolsters the satisfaction I experience in this role.

Areas of Expertise

Microbiology and infectious disease transmission
Infection Prevention
Patient Safety and healthcare quality
Safety culture
Public Health
Vascular access
Environmental disinfection
Performance Improvement
Education

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