If manufacturers don’t understand infection prevention protocol and which cleaning products are being used, how can they validate the surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected? What happens when the manufacturer warning states not to use acids or chlorine bleach, and a facility uses products that contain these chemicals?
In 2016, Linda Lybert was featured in Healthcare Facilities Management Magazine and introduced the Seven Aspects of Surface Selection©, which is the foundation of her Healthcare Surface Consulting organization.
A new article published in Infection Control Today by Matthew Hardwick, PhD; Debra Harris, PhD; Linda Lybert; and Amber Mitchell, DrPH, MPH, CPH, on the 2018 Healthcare Surfaces Summit, “Unprecedented Collaboration to Eliminate Infection and Illness Caused by Contaminated Surfaces in Healthcare Environments.”
Operating rooms are critical areas that turnover quickly from one case to the next. Typical turnover time is around 9 or 10 minutes. Pathogens can’t be seen and a quick turnover between patients leaves potential risk for the next. To ensure an OR can be disinfected and prepared effectively and efficiently requires evaluation – before construction begins.
The recent requirement imposed by the FDA for scope manufacturers to test their products is a step in the right direction and hopefully, testing requirements won’t be limited to just scopes. The next step is to develop clear testing requirements…
Recent conversations with healthcare professionals have also caused me to stop to catch my breath. The belief that surfaces are “self-cleaning” can lure people into a false sense of security. ATTENTION: There is no such thing as a self-cleaning surface!
Often not considered are the ways surface materials are put together, as an assembly, and connected to other surface materials. Soft and hard surface materials have seams and connect or rest on other materials. This has an effect on how effective the cleaning and disinfection process can be.
Damage to a surface can begin at a microscopic level. Pits, cracks and fissures create the perfect environment for bacterial colonies to form and proliferate. Bio-burden recovers quickly after cleaning and the perfect storm has been created for pathogens to be transferred to other surfaces and to patients…
Copper does have some unique characteristics including antimicrobial properties. However, it is important to understand how these antimicrobial properties work. Do not assume it is just going to clean itself, because it will not.
Over the last 15 years, I have met many professionals about the selection of surfaces in healthcare. It may surprise you to learn that many of these professionals believe that surfaces are just surfaces. They look at them more as design features or pieces of furniture than as a critical aspect of the healthcare environment.