This week celebrates World Hand Hygiene! After the horror of dealing with coronavirus this past year, hand hygiene has been magnified worldwide. Everyone learned how to wash their hands efficiently and to wash OFTEN.
Along with good hand hygiene, healthcare systems are looking to enhance their infection prevention programs. They realize good hand hygiene is not enough when it comes to airborne transmissible viruses. Healthcare facilities had already begun to add UV-C technology and other innovative ways to augment the fight against Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs), but COVID-19 accelerated these efforts.
Listed below are the three ways you can augment your hand hygiene program.
1. UV-C Light Technologies
One of the most effective ways to target viruses is to go right to the source – the DNA and RNA of the actual organisms themselves. Through new innovations in ultra-violet (UV) light technology, scientists have developed a proven method of harnessing these powerful rays that kill up to 99.9% of viruses. There are an array of UV-C products available now; some that attack organisms in the air and others that sanitize vulnerable surfaces.
Companies like UVDI, Inc and RD UVC offer mobile units that can be brought into ORs and other high use areas, designed to eradicate viruses and other pathogens on all surfaces in-between patient cases.
Since mobile devices are ever more present in the healthcare environment, cleaning these surfaces is key to preventing the spread of disease. Vioguard, Seal Shield, and Icleanse have units that can treat all your handheld devices like cell phones and tablets that have frequently touched surfaces. UV Concepts makes a unit that decontaminates non-critical mobile equipment like wheelchairs.
Cleaning the air with UV-C technology is crucial when it comes to fighting airborne viruses such as COVID-19. In fact, hospital air samples have been found to be up to eight times more contaminated than physical surfaces. Companies like Bovie Medical, Geerpres, and Light Progress USA all offer various air purifiers. Ultraviolet disinfecting is a critical failsafe in the turnover process that should be conducted in conjunction with conventional cleaning methods.
2. Anti-Microbial Surfaces
Buying new equipment with anti-microbial surfaces can help mitigate HAIs. Companies like Pedigo are using copper on frequently used patient stretchers and IV poles to help with infection prevention. There are many other products with anti-microbial surfaces that can help with your Infection Prevention Plan. Seal Shield makes an array of screen protectors, keyboards, computer mice, and a universal TV remote. Health-O-Meter manufacturers an anti-microbial digital platform scale, and Metro has a line of anti-microbial shelving units employing Microban®.
Cubicle curtains are the #6 high-risk touchpoint in a patient room, yet the only item not disinfected on a daily basis. KleenEdge has "smart" cubicle curtains and proprietary protocol software that can be a real solution to this problem.
3. PAPRs (Power Air-Purifying Respirators)
PAPRs have been in use for many years now and are most notable throughout industrial settings, because of their high filtration efficiency. RPB Safety has a great solution in this product category! In November of last year, the CDC recognized their value in healthcare settings and introduced them as a viable alternative to N95 masks. Healthcare workers all around the world have benefited from their greater level of respiratory protection and incorporation of multiple PPE systems in one. Keeping healthcare workers healthy is key to any infection prevention plan.
CME Corp carries a wide variety of infection prevention products that can help augment your hand hygiene program, and we're dedicated to combating HAI in care facilities across the US. Call us at (800) 338-2372 or visit our website for more information.
With two corporate offices and 35+ service centers, our mission is is to help healthcare facilities nationwide reduce the cost of the equipment they purchase, make their equipment specification, delivery, installation, and maintenance processes more efficient, and help them seamlessly launch, renovate and expand on schedule.