It seems like the news is filled with a new Superbug every week; the latest Superbug is CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae). Other notable Superbugs are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli (e.coli), and Clostridium difficile (c.Diff). Superbugs are a strain of bacteria that have become resistant to anti-biotics. To answer the title above, NO, superbug prevention is not worthless. Look at it this way, an ounce of disinfection goes a long way in prevention. This means that the importance of your janitorial staff will become more critical to the health and liability of your facility. Some health care institutions have gone to the extreme of employing a robotic device to disinfect at risk rooms with a toxic level of hydrogen peroxide. While this might work for institutions with an abundance of financial resources; those institutions with fewer financial resources will find it difficult to institute these measures. So, what prevention measures should be taken to lower superbug-related liability for health care facilities especially long term care facilities?
- Identification – early identification of rooms or areas where there might be a potential outbreak of a superbug
- Program – define a program to clean these areas which typically include …
- Unique Chemicals and Equipment
- Special Procedures to Disinfect Major Touch Points
- Bed Rails
- Door Handles
- Headboards and Footboards
- Restroom Touch Points
- Chair Arms
- Telephones and TV Remotes
- Cleanliness in resident rooms and common areas
Note – a facility’s janitorial staff contribute just as much to the well-being of patients as its medical staff. Good cleaning practices, keeping linens clean and reducing clutter helps avoid cross contamination and is conducive to healthy residents and staff.
Ken Sensel is the Product Manager of General Cleaning, Chemical Management Systems and Healthcare products for the Betco Corporation. He is passionate about creating a cleaner more sustainable future through products, and programs that you inspire and we innovate. In his personal time Ken enjoys competing in ½ marathons, Toastmasters and spending time with his family. Click here to contact Ken directly.
Top Image via medicineworld.org