Infection Control Today

SEP 2018

ICT delivers to infection preventionists & their colleagues in the operating room, sterile processing/central sterile, environmental services & materials management, timely & relevant news, trends & information impacting the profession & the industry

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24 ICT September 2018 www.infectioncontroltoday.com Contact Us Today for More Information! info@tomimist.com | www.tomimist.com Patient Room Disinfection Made Easy SteraMist™, known globally for its easy to use and game-changing technology-based disinfection product game-changing technology-based disinfection product lines, now offers an all-in-one solution for efficient and lines, now offers an all-in-one solution for efficient and quick patient room terminal cleans. The SteraMist™ hand- quick patient room terminal cleans. The SteraMist™ hand- held Surface Unit, the first EPA registered solution and held Surface Unit, the first EPA registered solution and equipment combination, is featured in the E-Z Disinfection equipment combination, is featured in the E-Z Disinfection Cart. The cart is designed specifically for hospital Cart. The cart is designed specifically for hospital disinfecting using SteraMist™ technology which has greater disinfecting using SteraMist™ technology which has greater reliability to reduce the transference of pathogens over reliability to reduce the transference of pathogens over traditional manual cleans. traditional manual cleans. Introducing the latest in the SteraMist™ Line of Products SteraMist™ Line of Products The E-Z Disinfection Cart The E-Z Disinfection Cart ICT: What role can infection preven- tionists play in enhancing infection prevention relating to safe handling of healthcare textiles? We frmly believe IPs can make a signifcant difference toward enhancing infection prevention efforts relevant to HCTs. And we would encourage as a reinforcing step in this direction the establishment of open communication and collaboration between the healthcare IP and the laundry profession, specifically the laundry vendor. A good practice is for the hospital IP team members to treat their healthcare laundry professionals as part of their extended team, where there's an ongoing sharing of updates in infection control and prevention efforts and in the regulatory and licensing arenas. Important to this team-style relationship is for the IP to visit the healthcare laundry to become acquainted with the personnel responsible for administering the laundry. In fact, the laundry should be open to at least yearly visits from their IPs. These visits are more productive when they're treated collaboratively. From this collaboration, the IP will become well-versed in the end-to-end healthcare laundry process, especially in the context of potential infection risks from contaminated HCTs. The IP will become aware of how contamination risks can extend well beyond the actual wash process. In fact, we would encourage IPs to work closely with the laundry vendor in developing ways to educate staff in the proper and safe handling of HCTs in the hospital. Safe handling procedures would include everything from hand hygiene and functional separation to proper airfow in linen rooms and use of exchange carts. Last but certainly not least, we would recommend the IP demand their laundry be accredited by HLAC. — Gregory Gicewicz, president of Sterile Surgical Systems; past-president and inspection committee chair for Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council (HLAC) In addition to handling linens more carefully, greater attention to handling uniforms is warranted. Several studies in recent years have expanded evidence that the risk-re- duction value of professionally laundering employees' garments is worth the additional cost to a healthcare facility that currently makes employees responsible for such washing. Infection preventionists can advocate such change. Common sense and guidelines long established by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) prompt caregivers working in surgical suites to change at work rather than wearing their scrubs outside the facility. Infection preventionists now can cite research that garments are soiled signifcantly from caregiving other than surgery and that home washing inadequately addresses the contamination risk. Shifting this washing to a certifed linen and uniform service (as AORN recommends for surgical garments) or assigning this work to an on-premises laundry is a key frst step but doesn't guarantee success, which is where infection preventionists can step in. Linen and uniform laundries' inventory tracking indicates the prominent role of "walking scrubs" in the premature demise of HCT inventory. Facilities that offer to wash employee scrubs can quantify the extent of the problem and determine the variety of its causes. In many cases, employees feel it's a waste of time to change at work. Inadequate or poorly located changing facilities may play a role. Employee education can incorporate these concerns. The smallest medical practices are less likely to outsource or wash onsite. Infection preventionists responsible for such facilities can encourage these employees to change at work and carry their clothes home to wash—a tall order. Guidelines for home washing must be provided and somehow enforced. Outsourcing is clearly the better choice. — Joseph Ricci, president and CEO, TRSA

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