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Reducing HAIs and Improving LTC Resident Health

More than 5 million Americans reside in nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. These long-term care facilities (LTCFs) provide a variety of services, both medical and personal care, to people who are unable to manage independently in the community. Data about infections in LTCFs are limited, but the most recent statistics in medical literature estimate:

  • 1 to 3 million serious infections occur every year in LTCFs.
  • Infections include urinary tract infection, diarrheal diseases, antibiotic-resistant staph infections and many others.
  • Infections are a major cause of hospitalization and death; as many as 380,000 people die of infections in LTCFs every year.

Common infections in long-term care settings are becoming more difficult to diagnose. This longer process can lead to multiple issues for residents, including ongoing discomfort, chronic poor health and a higher risk of hospitalization or even death. Unfortunately, one-third of all deaths in seniors result from infectious diseases, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Seniors are more susceptible to infection due to a weakened immune system, and seniors with dementia may be at even greater risk.

This life-threatening epidemic demonstrates the need for improved infection control in healthcare facilities. Although significant progress has been made in preventing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), additional steps need to be taken to control and mitigate this high risk of infection. HAIs are preventable and often caused by poor facility conditions or human error. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research shows that when facility staff and vendor employees are aware of infection problems and take specific steps to prevent them, HAI rates can decrease by more than 70 percent. Successfully decreasing HAI rates involves all departments working together toward improving care, protecting patients and saving lives.

Lacking infection control training LTCFs are required to maintain infection control and prevention programs to comply with federal regulations. The expectations for those programs are outlined in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Interpretive Guidance for Infection Control. Unfortunately, most LTCFs lack adequately trained and committed personnel to fulfill all the infection control needs.

A New Hampshire study found that there are 75 percent fewer Infection Preventionists (IPs) in long-term care facilities than in acute care facilities. More commonly, the IPs in LTCFs have multiple responsibilities and can only devote limited time to infection prevention practices. According to the same study, only 10 percent of the assigned Infection Preventionists in LTCFs have any specific Infection Control Prevention training, whereas 95 percent of acute-care IPs have the appropriate training.

A LTCF can implement a facility-wide training model that can be accessed by vendors 24/7 to ensure that the staff is well-educated to make a difference and improve patient care. Address issues that healthcare staff members encounter on a daily basis to eliminate reoccurrence. Every vendor employee that enters the facility should have completed the training courses and learned about their role in HAI prevention.

Reducing HAIs in LTCFs provides multiple benefits to residents, staff and vendors, including healthier residents, happier resident families, less disruption and financial burden for families of residents and stabilized financial benefit for the facility.

Transmitting infections The two most common mechanisms of infection transmission in a long-term care facility involve direct contact via person-to-person or contaminated objects. LTCFs provide an ideal environment for acquisition and spread of infection. LTCF residents are more susceptible to infection when sharing sources of air, touchable surfaces, food and healthcare in a crowded institutional setting.

Many pathogens associated with HAIs survive on various surfaces such as common area furniture, remotes and light switches. As a result, frequently touched surfaces play a key role in transmitting infections between persons. The disinfection of surfaces is vital in infection prevention planning.

Moreover, visitors, staff and residents constantly come and go throughout the facility, increasing the likelihood of bringing in contaminated pathogens from outside sources. Reducing the number of entrances that staff, families and vendor employees use to enter a LTCF will minimize the risk of spreading potential bacteria to residents inside.

In addition, lack of proper use of disinfectants can also mean dangerous fungi and bacteria are not killed. Chemicals designed for disinfecting require different “dwell” times, or the amount of time the chemical agent must remain wet on a surface to be effective in eliminating the pathogens. Proper application requires training and then additional reinforcement of training to assure an effective kill-rate.

Prolonged lengths of stay, limited capacities for diagnosis and ineffectual infection-control programs often allow outbreaks to propagate and persist for many months. The transfer of infected or colonized residents, which is a common occurrence, may export outbreaks to other facilities, including hospitals and medical centers.

Improving facility profits In addition to providing quality needs to the residents, long-term care facilities must thrive financially. A healthy bottom line for care providers means adequate staffing, healthy facilities and effective programs for the residents. Unfortunately, reimbursement programs have been cut so drastically that financial survival has to be the first focus for LTCFs.

Financial stability of a LTCF can mean the difference between an improved lifestyle for residents versus a questionable environment and negative outcomes. There are not credible statistics supporting the difference between profit versus loss and how residents benefit from a well-managed and profitable facility. Even non-profits that are financially healthy mean improved facilities, happy residents and a positive workforce.

The most common areas where LTCFs spend money that is beneficial to the residents are:

  • Hiring and maintaining additional staff members
  • Education programs for staff improvement
  • Repairs to facilities for safety and comfort
  • Environmental issues

One loosely defined study makes the case for non-profit long-term care facilities providing more hours of attendant focus per resident versus for-profit facilities. The report also attempts to make the case for improved outcomes and fewer deaths. However, when closely reviewed, the infection rate in for-profit facilities was less, even though the age of the resident was older when compared to a non-profit facility.

Based on my personal experience in all types of nursing home facilities, I have found the financially stable non-profits and for-profit are basically the same. Both have visibly cleaner, healthier facilities, along with staff members that follow a plan for patient care.

Facilities in financial trouble due to older buildings, a high percentage of resident dependency on government reimbursements and high employee turnover rates suffer when it comes to offering quality care.

Conclusion Combating HAIs requires concentrated efforts by all LTCF personnel and its outside vendors. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to manage HAIs can mitigate the risk of spreading life-threatening infections. Proactive risk management can decrease HAI rates, improve patient satisfaction scores–and most importantly–save patient lives.

Author: Thom Wellington. Article used with permission. Thom is the co-founder of Infection Control University.


About E-Mist E-Mist helps healthcare organizations prevent and reduce HAIs. Founded on a legacy of electrostatic science and technology, the E-Mist Infection Control System and Process eliminates traditional disinfectant methods. The EM360 System is mobile, touchless, safer, cordless, and more cost-effective approach to environmental surface disinfection. E-Mist makes disinfection better, easier and more cost effective.

Effective infection prevention program can reduce HAIs

SUMMARYThe effective IPC/HE program must be multidisciplinary and include experts in both HE and infection prevention. Expertise is defined by sets of core competencies established by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America for healthcare epidemiologists and by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology for infection preventionists.

Program personnel must have authority delegated from institutional leadership to perform essential activities and implement change to reduce HAIs.

The number of personnel is determined not solely by the number of patients served by a given facility, but rather by the scope and complexity of program activities. The budget allocated for the program must support adequate numbers of personnel (infection preventionists and healthcare epidemiologists) to execute program activities. At present, many healthcare institutions are underresourced, with insufficient reimbursement for hospital epidemiology services and too few infection preventionists. This document provides an updated assessment of the resources and requirements for an effective IPC/HE program.

In 1996, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) convened an expert consensus panel to provide a “best assessment of the needs for a healthy and effective hospital based infection control and epidemiology program.” The panel’s consensus report was approved by both SHEA and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and published in 1998.

Nearly 2 decades later, transformative changes have taken place in healthcare and these changes have substantially increased the responsibilities and workload of infection prevention and control (IPC) programs. This evolution has included new challenges for IPC/healthcare epidemiology (hereafter referred to as IPC/HE) programs unheard of at the time of the original publication, including legislative mandates, public reporting, pay-for-performance, payment penalties, healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention collaboratives, bioterrorism (anthrax attacks), new and emerging pathogens (systemic acute respiratory distress syndrome, pandemic H1N1 influenza, Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Ebola virus), Occupational Health and Safety Administration mandates, and the first National Action Plan to reduce HAIs. Concurrently, the rising frequencies of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), unprecedented antimicrobial shortages, and a relative lack of new antimicrobials have further tested IPC strategies. Many of these challenges have necessitated increased education and training. In fact, there is ample evidence that a comprehensive IPC/HE program can reduce HAI, minimize the spread of MDROs, and address emerging infections and pathogens, ultimately keeping patients safer. Thus, the goals for IPC/HE programs noted in Table 1 remain relevant and have added urgency for implementation in a broader array of healthcare settings.

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© 2016 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved. Published online: 01 February 2016. Source: Website

Electrostatic Technology for Surface Disinfection in Healthcare Facilities

Studies have shown that less than 50% of environmental surfaces in patient care rooms are properly cleaned and disinfected. Evidence strongly suggests that cross contamination of microorganisms from environmental surfaces is directly related to patient infections. High-touch surfaces such as bed rails, bed surfaces, tables, fluid poles, doorknobs, and supply carts have all been identified as having the greatest potential for transmission of pathogens. Current cleaning/disinfecting methods and procedures are critical to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, yet, nearly 100,000 people will die this year directly attributable to HAIs. Electrostatically applied disinfectant may assist in the battle against preventable infections, improve patient experience, while increasing hospital revenues. Main Article:

One out of every 25 patients who are admitted to a hospital will contract a preventable healthcare-acquired infection (HAI). According to a 2002 study, approximately 1.7 million HAIs occur in U.S. acute care hospitals each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths at a total direct, indirect and non-medical social cost estimate of $96-147 billion per year.1,2 Study estimates did not include the more than 26,000 U.S. facilities such as ambulatory surgical centers, skilled nursing, long-term acute care, hospice, or dialysis centers. Obviously these HAI statistics are dated and may be vastly underestimated. In April 2016, the CDC approximated that the actual number of deaths from sepsis were as much as 140% higher than those recorded on death certificates, or as many as 381,000 deaths a year. Sepsis is just one subgroup of the infections.3 Healthcare-acquired infections continue to occur at alarming rates in U.S. hospitals and represent a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. HAIs have a devastating impact on people’s lives, the national economy, hospital reputations and financial sustainability.4

STUDIES HAVE INDICATED THAT INADEQUATE CLEANING AND DISINFECTING OF SURFACES IS WIDESPREAD

The physical environment is an important link in the chain of infection prevention and control. Contaminated environmental surfaces provide an important potential source for transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens.5 Cleaning and disinfecting of environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities is fundamental in healthcare facilities.6 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines recommend that hospitals clean and disinfect all “high-touch surfaces.”7 High-touch surfaces include: bed rails, bed surfaces, supply carts, over-bed tables and intravenous pumps.8 Experts agree that monitoring terminal room cleaning and disinfecting practices in healthcare facilities is an important element of infection control programs.9 Still, studies have indicated that inadequate cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces is widespread with housekeeping wiping only 50% of surfaces targeted for cleaning.10,11,12

One way to break the chain of infection includes the use of innovative technology such as the application of EPA-registered disinfectants using electrostatic systems. As compared to traditional spray-and-wipe, fogging, and UV lighting, electrostatic disinfection application systems present a complementary and cost effective approach to healthcare facility environmental surface disinfection methods. Electrostatic spraying has been used in the agricultural and automobile industry for decades. In effect, a spray gun modified with an electrode charges the liquid particles, which are then guided to an oppositely charged target. Based on Coulomb’s law, an electrostatic disinfectant application system applies disinfectant more evenly to all surfaces. Coulomb’s law states that the magnitude of the electrostatic force of interaction between two point charges is directly proportional to the scalar multiplication of the square of the distance between them. The force is along the straight line joining them.13

Electrostatics is a proven technology in the agricultural and automotive industries. This technology is now being integrated into healthcare settings as a tool to break the chain of pathogen mobility.14 As an example, Creative Solutions in Healthcare owns and operates 46 skilled nursing and 13 assisted living facilities throughout the state of Texas. This top-50 ranked long-term care facility company uses electrostatic application technology in their efforts to prevent the transmission of dangerous pathogens. According to Gary Blake, President of Creative Solutions, this technology “has proven to be far more cost-effective than we ever dreamed possible. There’s a huge chemical cost savings, our employees are healthier – they’re staying at work, so our overtime is down in many markets during flu season. Our residents are returning home sooner from their rehab stays with us instead of going back into the hospital, and that’s gotten the attention of our managed-care insurance companies and even from Medicare.”

Most surface areas are neutral (uncharged) or negative. Electrostatic application for healthcare surface disinfection is a method of applying an EPA-registered disinfectant to a target surface area using electrostatic force of attraction. Using Coulomb’s law, these systems place a positive or negative charge on the chemical disinfectant as it leaves the spray nozzle.15,16 Because most surface areas are neutral or negative, a positively charged electrostatic spray application system optimizes adhesion and attraction (electromagnetic theory17). The dispersed droplets spread out more evenly and seek out the negative (-) or neutrally charged surface (neutral surfaces have the same number of protons as electrons – a neutral object can be polarized by a charged object and create attraction). The disinfectant is more targeted, provides more consistent coverage with less waste, and like two magnets, attracted to the oppositely charged surface with remarkable force.

PATHOGENS CAN SURVIVE ON SURFACES FOR MONTHS

Most common nosocomial pathogens can survive on surfaces for months18. These deadly bugs can become a continuous source of transmission. As such, regular, preventative surface disinfection is recommended. Wiping hard surfaces with contaminated cloths can contaminate hands, equipment, and other surfaces.19 Those involved in the prevention and control of infections require a balanced approach of cost and quality to improve outcomes. Existing healthcare disinfection methods including wipes, spray and wipe, fogging, and UV lighting all have their place in a multimodal IPC program, but may be ineffective or cost prohibitive for routine or comprehensive use. As environmental surface contamination and healthcare-acquired infections have become more defined, electrostatic disinfection application systems present a viable and cost effective tool in the environmental surface disinfection arsenal.

The battle against nosocomial pathogens is costly. This has become even more pronounced in light of the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program. VBP rewards or penalizes hospitals based on degrees of care quality. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) bases hospital performance on an approved set of measures and dimensions grouped into specific quality domains.20 For 2017, The CMS has created a new safety domain that primarily measures infection rates. Yet, most infection prevention and environmental surface teams continue to use antiquated or cost prohibitive disinfection methods including labor-intensive hand-wiping or UV lighting.

As presented, research studies have shown that environmental cleaning and disinfection play important roles in the prevention and control of healthcare-acquired infections. Though prevalent and widely used in other industries, electrostatic technology is now being adopted in the application of disinfectants. This new, innovative technology may assist in the battle against preventable infections, improve patient experience, while also increasing hospital revenues.

References:

  1. Klevens, Monina R., et al. (2002) Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals Center for Disease Control. Retrieved October 12, 2016, fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/HAI/pdfs/hai/infections_deaths.pdf
  2. Marchetti, Albert. Rossiter, Richard. (2013) Economic burden of healthcare-associated infection in US acute care hospitals: societal perspective. Retrieved October 12, 2016 from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3111/13696998.2013.842922?journalCode=ijme20&
  3. Epstein L, Dantes R, Magill S, Fiore A. (2016) Varying Estimates of Sepsis Mortality Using Death Certificates and Administrative Codes — United States, 1999–2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 65:342–345.
  4. UMF Corporation. (2012) Doing Everything: Multimodal Intervention to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections. Retrieved October 12, 2016 fromhttp://perfectclean.com/pdf/WHITE_PAPER-MULTI-MODAL_INTERVENTION.pdf
  5. Donskey, C. J. (2013). Does improving surface cleaning and disinfection reduce health care-associated infections?. American journal of infection control, 41(5), S12-S19.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008) Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities. Retrieved October 12, 2016 fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/Disinfection_Sterilization/3_4surfaceDisinfection.html
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2003) Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health Care Facilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 12, 2016 fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/pdf/guidelines/eic_in_hcf_03.pdf
  8. Huslage, K., Rutala, W. A., & Weber, D. J. (2010). A quantitative approach to defining “high‐touch” surfaces in hospitals. Infection control and hospital epidemiology, 31(8), 850-853.
  9. Carling, P. C., Briggs, J. L., Perkins, J., & Highlander, D. (2006). Improved cleaning of patient rooms using a new targeting method. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 42(3), 385-388.
  10. Carling, P. C., Parry, M. M., Rupp, M. E., Po, J. L., Dick, B., & Von Beheren, S. (2008). Improving cleaning of the environment surrounding patients in 36 acute care hospitals. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 29(11), 1035-1041.
  11. Goodman, E. R., Piatt, R., Bass, R., Onderdonk, A. B., Yokoe, D. S., & Huang, S. S. (2008). Impact of an environmental cleaning intervention on the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci on surfaces in intensive care unit rooms. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, 29(07), 593-599.
  12. Garrett, R. (2016) UV Light Disinfection And Other Alternative Methods. CleanLink. Retrieved October 12, 2016 from http://www.cleanlink.com/sm/article/UV-Light-Disinfection-And-Other-Alternative-Methods–19836
  13. Ida, Nathan, 2007, Engineering Electromagnetics, Springer, p. 126.
  14. E-Mist Innovations. (2016) Electrostatic Disinfection System. Retrieved October 12, 2016 from http://www.emist.com
  15. Bartlett, P.E. Goldhagen, and E.A. Phillips. (2016) Experimental Test of Coulomb’s Law. Oct. 12, 2016.https://www.princeton.edu/~romalis/PHYS312/Coulomb%20Ref/BartlettCoulomb.pdf
  16. Tang, K., & Smith, R. D. (2001). Physical/chemical separations in the break-up of highly charged droplets from electrosprays. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 12(3), 343-347.
  17. Maxwell, J.C., 1865, A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 155, 459–512.
  18. Kramer, A., Schwebke, I., & Kampf, G. (2006). How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review. BMC infectious diseases, 6(1), 1.
  19. Hughes, R. (Ed.). (2008). Patient safety and quality: An evidence-based handbook for nurses (Vol. 3). Rockville MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Chapter 41, Preventing Health Care-Associated Infections.
  20. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015) Hospital Value-Based Purchasing. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/Hospital_VBPurchasing_Fact_Sheet_ICN907664.pdf

Copyright © 2016 InfectionControl.Tips. All rights reserved. Used with permission. For more information, visit InfectionControl.tips


Author: Joshua T. Robertson, President, E-Mist Innovations, Inc. Joshua is an entrepreneurial leader, experienced in growing organizations solving big issues within the healthcare space. Prior to joining E-Mist, Joshua launched National HME (NHME) in 2006. NHME partnered with over 500 hospice programs, served 500,000+ patients and created close to 500 jobs throughout the U.S. during his tenure at the company. In 2015, the company recapitalized and yielded a high rate of return for shareholders. Joshua also founded GrowCo Capital in 2014 that invests resources into entrepreneurial businesses and real estate projects throughout the United States. Joshua graduated from Texas Tech University receiving an Executive MBA and a double major in honors management and marketing. He is actively involved in GrowCo Capital, Project 4031, and founding President for the Rawls Raiders Alumni Network (Texas Tech Business School).

About E-Mist E-Mist helps healthcare organizations prevent and reduce HAIs. Founded on a legacy of electrostatic science and technology, the E-Mist Infection Control System and Process eliminates traditional disinfectant methods. The EM360 System is mobile, touchless, safer, cordless, and more cost-effective approach to environmental surface disinfection. E-Mist makes disinfection better, easier and more cost effective.

Student Absences Cost Schools Millions

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How To Clean and Disinfect Schools

The following article, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), begins with three important, but misunderstood distinctions. Knowing the differences between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing will ensure a healthier environment, lower absenteeism, reduce lost learning time, and increase the likelihood that children are in attendance (in several states including California, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas, schools lose money when a child is absent – called Average Daily Attendance). A school district can miss out on $30-$50 a day for every student that doesn’t show up.

Many schools have discovered that they can quickly, effectively, safely, and more cost effectively disinfect their schools using an electrostatic system. These advanced systems are especially effective in high-touch point areas. As an example, the Backpack System from E-Mist can disinfect 40,000 square feet in just one hour while using only 1.25 gallons of surface disinfectant.

1. Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

2. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often Follow your school’s standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys. Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the school, like bathrooms.

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

3. Simply do routine cleaning and disinfecting It’s important to match your cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill. Most studies have shown that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for only 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on a surface. Therefore, it is not necessary to close schools to clean or disinfect every surface in the building to slow the spread of flu. Also, if students and staff are dismissed because the school cannot function normally (e.g., high absenteeism during a flu outbreak), it is not necessary to do extra cleaning and disinfecting.

Flu viruses are relatively fragile, so standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them. Special cleaning and disinfecting processes, including wiping down walls and ceilings, frequently using room air deodorizers, and fumigating, are not necessary or recommended. These processes can irritate eyes, noses, throats, and skin; aggravate asthma; and cause other serious side effects.

4. Clean and disinfect correctly Always follow label directions on cleaning products and disinfectants. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Rinse with water, and follow with an EPA-registered disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label to make sure it states that EPA has approved the product for effectiveness against influenza A virus.

If an EPA-registered disinfectant is not available, use a fresh chlorine bleach solution. To make and use the solution:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water. For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
  • Apply the solution to the surface with a cloth.
  • Let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the surface with clean water.

If a surface is not visibly dirty, you can clean it with an EPA-registered product that both cleans (removes germs) and disinfects (kills germs) instead. Be sure to read the label directions carefully, as there may be a separate procedure for using the product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfection usually requires the product to remain on the surface for a certain period of time.

Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. Pay close attention to the directions for using disinfecting wipes. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep the surface wet for the stated length of contact time. Make sure that the electronics can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.

5. Use products safely Pay close attention to hazard warnings and directions on product labels. Cleaning products and disinfectants often call for the use of gloves or eye protection. For example, gloves should always be worn to protect your hands when working with bleach solutions.

Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the labels indicate it is safe to do so. Combining certain products (such as chlorine bleach and ammonia cleaners) can result in serious injury or death.

Ensure that custodial staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels and understand safe and appropriate use. This might require that instructional materials and training be provided in other languages.

6. Handle waste properly Follow your school’s standard procedures for handling waste, which may include wearing gloves. Place no-touch waste baskets where they are easy to use. Throw disposable items used to clean surfaces and items in the trash immediately after use. Avoid touching used tissues and other waste when emptying waste baskets. Wash your hands with soap and water after emptying waste baskets and touching used tissues and similar waste.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Comprehensive Infection Control System

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 1.7 million people each year will be infected with a healthcare acquired infection (HAI). To track and prevent HAIs they recommend that healthcare facilities perform tests to monitor bacteria rates in the exact same area at each test so that the comparative data is accurate. To meet and exceed these guidelines, E-Mist Innovations partnered with Next Level 11 to provide the first and only, comprehensive, end-to-end infection control system process in the healthcare setting.

The new process combines E-Mist’s patented electrostatic disinfectant application system, which delivers safer surfaces, lower costs, reduced manpower and keeps people healthier with Next Level 11’s Test, Track, Treat and Train protocol for bacteria eradication.

“We truly believe that this combined solution will change the way the healthcare industry treats and combats infections,” said George Robertson, CEO, E-Mist Innovations. “For years it’s been impossible to know if surfaces are healthy. With this tracking technology, along with surface treatment through electrostatic technology – we now have a sophisticated solution that monitors, manages, tracks and provides real-time bacteria level results to users. We are now able to identify where bacteria is located – even down to an area as specific as an IV pole – and use E-Mist systems to disinfect the equipment or area.”

Real-Time Monitoring and Results

Next Level 11 developed the BAC-TRACK square, an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) monitoring system which allows users to track contamination and maintenance levels on equipment. This square is linked to the company’s BAC-TRACK software which allows hospital managers and leadership teams to login to a dashboard to view monthly trends, treatment, cleaning effectiveness and even pinpoint where the highest risk areas are for contamination – in real time. The software identifies the highest risk in chronological order, down to the location, department, room and even piece of equipment. This helps healthcare providers have the correct documentation to provide regulatory agencies during annual reviews and surveys.

“By measuring the data, teams are given better ways to improve disinfecting protocols,” said Scott McDaniel, CEO, Next Level 11. “Now that we’re working with E-Mist we’re able to equip users with a proper way to apply chemicals. We’re already seeing better coverage of chemicals. It’s essentially a way to remove the human error factor from the process while delivering less chemicals and better coverage. In all, overall contamination levels have been reduced since using E-Mist systems.”

E-Mist uses proprietary adaptations of electrostatic technology and induction charging of liquid droplets to produce precise, controlled, high-performance liquid application and management capabilities for treatment of hard and soft surfaces. The charged droplets seek out the target magnetically, more forcefully and with greater surface adhesion. Meaning, that the droplets cling to the surface with a comprehensive coverage effect to allow for proper dwell time, equating to a disinfected surface.

E-Mist recently launched the BackPack System – a new, mobile, cordless electrostatic application system. The unit is ideal for offices, medical facilities, long-term care facilities, schools, daycares, food processing plants and all methods of transportation – anywhere mobility is critical. Users simply wear the applicator just like any backpack.

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