Cleaning and Maintenance Management: Q&A: An Integrated Approach to Infection Control

Author: Caitlin Stowe and Alice Brewer

Categories: Articles, Healthcare & Patient Care June 4, 2021

Cleaning and Maintenance Management recently published a Q&A entitled An Integrated Approach to Infection Control which discusses combining traditional manual cleaning and disinfecting with automated systems can help reduce HAIs. As a result, patients can pick up healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), such as C. difficile and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in any health care facility, from hospitals and long-term care centers to doctors’ offices and ambulatory surgery centers.

Excerpt from the article:

Q: How prevalent are HAIs in the health care environment today, and how do they impact the industry and patients?

PDI Clinical Expert Caitlin Stowe: HAIs continue to be a significant issue today in terms of patients’ health and costs to the industry. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 687,000 HAIs each year, resulting in 72,000 deaths and costing an estimated US$11 billion. To put these numbers in perspective, HAIs kill more people each year in the United States than car accidents, breast cancer, or pneumonia.

Q: What newer tools are being used for infection control and prevention, and how effective are they?

Tru-D Clinical Expert Alice Brewer: New innovations like automated, total room decontamination are growing in use across the industry and have been demonstrated in studies to effectively battling HAIs. These technologies include vaporized hydrogen peroxide or mist (VHP or HPM), ultraviolet (UVC) light, and self-disinfecting surfaces. VHP/HPM works by using a portable generator to quickly increase the concentration of hydrogen peroxide available in the room for decontamination. UVC systems emit UVC wavelengths capable of inactivating microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, preventing them from replicating in the environment. Finally, self-disinfecting surfaces are created by coating surfaces with heavy metals, germicides, or light-activated antimicrobials.”

Read the full Q&A