ICT Q&A: Infection Preventionists Keep Hospitals on Track

Author: Caitlin Stowe CIC, MPH, CPHQ, VA-BC

Categories: Environment of Care & Healthcare November 16, 2020
Caitlin Stowe Infection Control Today Interview, Nov 2020

Infection Control Today® sat down (virtually) with PDI Clinical Affairs Research Manager, Caitlin Stowe, CIC, MPH, CPHQ, VA-BC, to discuss the challenges Infection Preventionists face when trying to keep hospitals and other healthcare facilities infection free – or as infection-free as possible.

Excerpt from the interview:

ICT: What are some of the high-touch surfaces that are commonly overlooked in hospitals?

Stowe: The first thing I would think is the medication dispensing machine that the nurses use to get medication for their patients out. Those are touched hundreds of times a day, but they may only be disinfected once a day. There is a lot of opportunity for those pathogens that are spread by touch to be transmitted from one healthcare worker to another and potentially to their patients, especially if they don’t do good hand hygiene. The second thing I would do is the pneumatic tube system. It’s really great for transporting medications and maybe even lab samples. But it’s honestly not cleaned very often. We often had spills in those pneumatic tube systems where we’d have to shut it down. So those are definitely not cleaned as much as they should be.

Watch interview