Disinfection Insights You Can Use Today
Part 2 of 3: Selecting and Using Disinfectants
According to a recent study reported by APIC, the significant presence of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB), such as E. coli, among nursing home residents demonstrates the need for heightened infection control prevention and control measures in nursing homes. In the release, APIC President Linda Greene says, “This study underscores the importance of having strong infection prevention programs in all nursing homes and long-term care facilities.”
A holistic industry-wide approach to infection prevention and control is paramount if healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are to be eliminated. Bedrock measures are necessary to be effective.
Kelly M. Pyrek writes, “Education and training is the cornerstone of HAI prevention, and the WHO guideline recommends that IPC education should be in place for all healthcare workers by utilizing team- and task-based strategies that are participatory and include bedside and simulation training to reduce the risk of HAI and antimicrobial resistance.”
The following brief by J. Darrel Hicks focuses on the selection and use of disinfectants.
Cleaning executives have trusted in the efficacy that an EPA registration implies for the disinfectants used by staff. But now users are being informed by the EPA Office of Inspector General — in the 2016 report — that, “Once the EPA tests a product and it passes, it is listed as Agency Confirmed Efficacy on the agency’s website and is typically not tested again; the long-term efficacy of the product cannot be assured.”
The IG also revealed that the EPA relies on manufacturers to voluntarily submit product samples for testing. And in the last three years, out of the approximately 300 registered disinfectant products yet to be tested, manufacturers submitted only 12 samples to the EPA for ATP efficacy evaluation.
However, this isn’t a new problem. In August 1990, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released “Disinfectants: EPA Lacks Assurance They Work.” The report reads, “…historical enforcement and other data estimated that 20 percent of disinfectants on the market did not work as claimed, posing health risks to users.”
It was this report that launched the initial Antimicrobial Testing Report in 1991, and successes have been slow coming ever since. According to an IG report in 2010, “after nearly 19 years, over 40 percent of registered products have not been tested . . . [and] those that have been tested have experienced a consistently high failure rate.”
What does all this mean for environmental services managers today? Continue reading the full article here.
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