APIC Day 2 Blog... Environmental Cleaning Services Visited

posted Jun 4, 2012, 9:35 PM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 3:25 PM ]
Day 2 of the Annual Meeting for APIC (Association for Professionals in Infection Control) in San Antonio was a success!  Without a doubt, problems with Environmental Cleaning Services was the main theme for the conference classes attended by OUTFOX Prevention team members.  Many speakers talked about ways to increase compliance in terms of environmental cleaning, effective items that will help reduce environmental contamination and ideas to build programs.

The following sections are briefings of some of the sessions attended.  Enjoy!

Session 1505: Infection Prevention Community Response- Germs on Coats, Privacy Curtains

Presenters: Susan Huang, MD, MPH; Eli Perencevich, MD, MS; Patti Costello
These three presenters were great to share relevant information and effectively motivate the audience to work better with their environmental cleaning staff.  Data shared was very surprising about the amount of germs that remain on privacy curtains, high touch areas (especially areas that were not flat/horizontal) and other room areas.  The crowd was in awe as data also showed that infectious agents remained despite the rooms being cleaned.

Some of the recommendations for better environmental cleaning included conducting cleaning audits.  They highlighted fluorescent material audits that helped environmental cleaning (EVS) services train and clean better (mark 5-10 preplanned areas in a room with fluorescent gel, have them clean, verify cleaning with UV black light).  It aligned perfectly with the OUTFOX and Glo Germ offering. 

It was also recommended to build a strong environmental services staff.  This can be accomplished by maintaining a dedicated crew even in slow times to avoid laying off workers and incurring the cost of shutting down and reopening units.  Less turnover can help reduce the spread of infections from an environmental cleaning perspective.

Publication 116: Standardization of Hand Hygiene Observations- An Entire State Collaborates

Presenter: Barbara A. MacPike, RN, BSN, CIC
Barbara had a interesting presentation on the collaboration of the whole state of Maine.  According to Barbara, Maine is the only state with complete collaborative hand hygiene habits.  This is a phenomenal feat because it seems that each hospital has its own way of tracking, training and conducting hand hygiene.  The motivation to collaborate came when a test didn't produce comparable results.  The incomparable results were to due to the fact that the initially tracked information was helpful, but the data didn't match because everyone was testing and recording compliance in different ways.  The infection control collaboration was accomplished by aligning the hand hygiene messages, aligning the data collection methods and keeping the state's focus on 100% compliance.

Quick Product Review: Hygie

While in the Exhibitor Hall, we singled out a product in a nearby booth to review.  Here are some of the initial thoughts as we briefly investigated the Hygie Bed Pan products.
Description: Disposable bed pan bags with geling agent to reduce liquid spill.  These bed pad liners are very popular in Canada and are used in hundreds of facilities.  The company is now trying to influence the American Market.
Positive: Although using disposable items is looked down upon because of waste and the effect on the environment, their design is biodegradable within 5-7 years rather than hundreds.
Positive: The risk of the spread of infection can be reduced for bedpan usage especially for weak or shaking patients.
Positive: The tying mechanism also is optimal for not spreading more infection during disposal.   
Negative: Waste
Negative: New system that needs to be learned by the staff

Workshop Session 1400

Home is Where the Germs Are: Infection Prevention Surveillance in Home Care

Presenter: Carole Young, RN, CIC
Surveillance for home health care depends on the size of the organization, reporting criteria and the benchmark you are trying to measure against.
Best to centralize the reporting rather that have it spread over 7-8 people.  Centralizing keeps the data consistent.
Benchmarking is important for increased compliance and tracking, but you need to be careful to not benchmark against a similar data group. 
When Carole first started with the facility, compliance numbers actually went down because THEY WERE SEARCHING for infections.  It seems that rather than proactively looking for infections, many Infection Preventionists are busy celebrating an isolated compliance number increase.  It is great to celebrate successes but it is important to take care of all the infections in the facility.  Are you purposely not SEARCHING for infections so your compliance numbers look better? 

Great presentation and information from the representative of the following site:

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