Healthcare facilities face a number of challenges when it comes to safeguarding the patient environment. While manual cleaning and disinfection is a crucial step to reducing pathogens that may cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), we felt that a more comprehensive approach to environmental infection prevention would better assist our facility in the fight against pathogens and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.
At Danbury Hospital in Connecticut, we continuously review and re-assess processes to ensure the provision of an infection-free environment for our patients. The implementation of three Clorox Healthcare® Optimum-UV® Systems has assisted in achieving this, and has become an important component of our environmental services infection prevention efforts to reduce infections and provide better patient outcomes.
Education and UV Implementation
When we implemented the Clorox Healthcare® Optimum-UV® System in 2015, it was important to us that our team members understood why this technology should be used to bolster our already strong infection prevention program. UV-C energy kills persistent pathogens, including those of top concern such as Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We started education about the devices early on, using our daily team huddles to discuss how the UV disinfection contributes to patient safety and quality of care and service. It was critical to assess and educate the staff that would eventually use the three devices. We took a core group of employees that are involved with discharge cleaning (both patient unit environmental services employees, as well as supervisory personnel) and brought them in with the sales representative, so that they could be involved in the training process and really see, first hand, how easy it is to use.
I don’t feel that adding the UV technology was a separate process, but rather an extension of what we already do, and a further commitment to patient safety. We did not dedicate just one person to the UV machine, but rather integrated it into our existing facility-wide processes and workflows. The UV Light unit was initially purchased for our OR procedural rooms, but has since expanded to our Interventional Radiology and CTSCAN procedural rooms. Along with discharge cleans of all contact isolations, we also strive to provide monthly “preventative” service to all 30 rooms in our ICU and Step Down patient units.
Overall, the response has been very positive. Our staff sees it as a great addition to our cleaning and disinfection processes. They have seen how the UV-C technology improves our patients’ safety by offering an extra layer of protection, and killing microorganisms in high-risk settings and areas of the healthcare environment that may otherwise be missed or insufficiently addressed.
The Clorox Healthcare® Optimum-UV® System is a critical component to our program, and is another means of ensuring a safe and infection-free environment to our patients at Danbury Hospital. Employee engagement and sharing the big picture on how the measures we are taking positively impact the patient experience has helped make all the difference.