9/13/18

Study Reinforces Importance of Disinfecting High-Touch Surfaces


By on 9:27 AM

The results of a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control further support the need for outpatient clinics — and all other healthcare organizations — to ensure effective disinfection processes for high-touch surfaces.

The study specifically focused on microbial transmission in these outpatient settings, examining how microbes moved through the facility and the effect of disinfectant spray on high-touch surfaces.

Results showed that exam room door handles and nurses' station chairs were the surfaces with the highest level of contamination and that virus concentrations were decreased significantly when disinfectant spray was used.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report shared a checklist of high-touch hospital surfaces, noting that the objects were "chosen on the basis of information regarding the contamination of these surfaces with healthcare-associated pathogens as well as a consideration of the likelihood they would be touched during routine care by healthcare personnel without changing gloves or performing hand hygiene prior to using these items."

These objects were as follows:

Patient room
  • Bed rails/controls
  • Tray table
  • IV pole (grab area)
  • Call box/button
  • Telephone
  • Bedside table handle
  • Chair
  • Room sink
  • Room light switch
  • Room inner door knob
  • Bathroom inner door knob / plate
  • Bathroom light switch
  • Bathroom handrails by toilet
  • Bathroom sink
  • Toilet seat
  • Toilet flush handle
  • Toilet bedpan cleaner
Where applicable
  • IV pump control
  • Multi-module monitor controls
  • Multi-module monitor touch screen
  • Multi-module monitor cables
  • Ventilator control panel
Research published several years after this checklist noted that the list omitted surfaces in the operating room (OR) and determined that the following were primary high-touch areas in the OR:
  • Anesthesia computer mouse 
  • OR bed 
  • Nurse computer mouse 
  • OR door 
  • Anesthesia medical cart
Does your organization need assistance with identifying risk factors that can create a threat for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)? Contact Infection Control Consulting Services (ICCS) and schedule an infection risk assessment today! A written risk assessment specific to a facility is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and most accreditation agencies.
 

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC

Phenelle Segal, RN, CIC, FAPIC, is the founder and president of Infection Control Consulting Services LLC (ICCS). Phenelle has more than 30 years' experience providing customized comprehensive infection control and prevention services to healthcare facilities nationwide. Her services focus on assisting hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, dental office and oral surgery practices, doctor's offices, nursing homes and other organizations with implementing and maintaining an infection control program that: complies with The Joint Commission, AAAHC, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) and other regulatory agencies; respond to situations of noncompliance; and improve the processes for reducing risk.

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