Infection control is important. Aside from stating the blatantly obvious, it’s something we know more than a thing or two about. Safeguarding through infection prevention and control (IPC) measures helps your practice in more ways than one. For one, it prevents harmful infections within your practice, keeping both you and your patients safe through the work day. Also, it provides a layer of security for your patients, knowing that they’ll undergo exams and procedures in a properly maintained environment. Even then, there are many other important reasons as to why infection control is so important. And according to a study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, enhanced infection control protocols that were enacted have been decreasing the number of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) within the facility, furthering the point at hand.
So in this article, we’d like to go over what the study found, showing why infection control is vital. And offering some options to you that can help you further enhance your infection control measures.
Not too long ago, a study was published by doctors in the American Journal of Infection Control. Much more robust and enforced infection control measures were implemented in healthcare facilities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures included:
- Increased use of personal protection equipment (PPE)
- Enhanced contact precautions
- Bigger emphasis on hand hygiene
These methods were put into place due to the high increase in HAI’s when the pandemic hit. One of the people conducting the study was Roy F. Chemaly, MD, MPH, Chair of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health at MD Anderson. He noted two things during the study. The first being that evidence from earlier studies lead them to believe that the spike partly came from the massive shift in priority when it came to dealing with the pandemic. And the second, that their findings suggest that using enhanced, targeted infection control measures helped not only avoid increases in these numbers, but even decrease the number of HAI’s in their patients during the pandemic.
So here’s how it worked. In March of 2020, MD Anderson started the use of enhanced infection prevention and control (IPC) practices. This was accomplished through things like high-level PPE, universal masking, enhanced disinfection of the environment, visitor restrictions, and more. They studied the rates of 6 common HAI’s among their 30,000 annual patients through the cancer center. These 6 included:
- C. difficile infection (C. diff)
- Multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs),
- Respiratory viral infections (RVIs) and three device-related infections
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)
- Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI)
- and Ventilator-associated events (VAE)
They compared the incidence rates (IRs) for all of these HAIs from the time before the pandemic, September 2016-February 2020, to 25 months after the pandemic onset, March 2020 to March 2022. This included the time of COVID-19 surges and cases in the COVID-19-designated wards of the facility.
And the results showed what their enhanced methods could do to the HAI numbers in the facility. The rates of things like C.diff and CLABSI were significantly decreased since the start of the pandemic. And while the rates of the MDROs didn’t change except among patients of the COVID-19 ward, the findings are still on the up and up (or should we say, down in this case?)
The rates of the other device-related infections were relatively stable. And if you’d like to read the specific findings for yourself, the study reported by apic.org can be found here. Needless to say, the findings themselves bore significantly positive results. The results of this study showed that if prioritized properly, HAIs can be significantly decreased. With the proper protocols and methods in place, these numbers can continue to drop in any healthcare facility. Patricia Jackson, RN, BSN, MA, CIC, FAPIC, 2023 APIC president, even said this about the study: “The encouraging findings from this study suggest that prioritizing and investing in evidence-based IPC practices can reduce HAIs, even among particularly vulnerable populations during extreme situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Some SAS Solutions
This study has definitely shown that the importance of infection control cannot be understated. For the safety of both the staff and patients. Surface disinfection, personal protection equipment, all of it is vital to the process. You need solutions to your infection control problems. And thankfully, that’s our specialty. So here are a few selections to ensure the safety of you and everyone in your practice.
Surface Disinfection with Optim1
When it comes to proper surface disinfection, Optim1 has your back. Optim1 wipes are intermediate-level disinfection wipes. Able to tackle the toughest of unwelcome pathogens on any contact surface. These wipes boast a 30-second fungicidal contact time, and a broad spectrum 1-minute contact time. Not only is it fast, they’re listed as the one-step disinfectant cleaner that picks up active debris while you clean. And the active ingredient, Hydrogen Peroxide, leads to only needing half the wipes to keep your surfaces wet long enough for prime disinfection time. And did we mention they’re non-toxic?
Falling into the FDA’s LOWEST toxicity category, Category IV. No GHS hazard pictograms, signal words or statements required. And they’re eco-friendly to boot. Optim truly has the user in mind. It also has efficacy claims to a wide range of common disease catalysts. Including a 1-minute tuberculocidal and 30-second virucidal against COVID-19 and C. Auris (which we’ve previously gone over here).
If you’re interested in these wipes, we sell the Optim1 Wipes on our website available here for you.
Personal Protection with Halyard
With personal protection being a priority, Halyard knows that you need. They’ve got the gloves and masks that you need.
Like their FLUIDSHIELD N95 Masks. Their Fluidshield N95 mask takes a whole new approach to things. Sporting a sort of duck-bill shape to its mask for a splash-proof defense tactic, while ditching the traditional square filter. Instead, the Fluidshield N95 mask is lined with filtration fabric on the inside. Not only that, but there are other notable things about these masks as well:
- Halyard’s Fluidshield N95 masks are 100% FDA approved. And are cleared for use in healthcare as medical devices.
- Unlike other mass-produced mask products, Halyard’s products are manufactured right here in the United States. Creating the best protection with a home field advantage.
- With a variety of sizes to choose from, and a malleable nose wire, comfort is of the same level as your protection.
- The inside of the mask is also double the size of other N95 masks, exceeding the 100% standards for breathability in masks.
But if it’s gloves you need, we’ve written a whole article going over their various gloves to meet your every need. But for now, let’s start simple, with their Purple Nitrile Glove.
Halyard’s tried and true Purple Nitrile Gloves offer a general option able to tackle a wide variety of challenges. With the power of nitrile, you’re already getting the best defense possible. In a form-fitting glove that fits to you through body heat for a secure, yet comfortable feel. Add an AQL of 1.0 to that, and these gloves are practically guaranteed to solve all of your problems. These gloves are the best in the standard line of Halyard’s gloves. And actually boast the thickest palm and fingertip sizing out of ALL of their gloves. Having both the standard limit-breaking power of nitrile and the added thickness to this specific gloves adds certain resistances. Making these capable of tackling higher risk job environments And all it takes is one pull from their SmartPull packaging to ensure you get the right amount of gloves every time. No worries about wasting the gloves or your money.
Infection control is a key component in preventing the spread of infections through healthcare facilities. There are many effective practices that can be put into place to protect patients. Ensuring your practice adheres to infection prevention and control measures is vital to accomplishing this. And the results of this study is proof of that. With proper measures and protocols put into place, we can better aim to keep the number of infections from rising. Even decrease them over time if the effort is kept up.But if you’re lookign for a place to start with enhancing your infection control, we’ve got you covered.
The speed of Optim1 wipes can help get any of your proper surfaces disinfected in no time. Without leaving any harmful residue. And with Halyard, you’ll find no better shield. Their N95 fluidshield masks and Purple Nitrile Gloves provide a barrier against pathogens like no other. Maximizing comfort for the long work days without sacrificing the protection to make it through unscathed. So if you’d like to browse these products or any of our infection control selection, you can find our site using the links below. Or you can call us at 704-966-1650.
As always if you have any questions about this process or anything else please feel free to contact us and take advantage of our “FREE TECH SUPPORT.”
We also offer FREE VIRTUAL TECH SUPPORT to “See and Talk” with a “Real Time Live Technician” for any problems you may be in need of help with.
You can also use our “FREE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM”. Take the guesswork and worrying about what unit is due for maintenance and which maintenance cycle it is time for. We will keep track of all your autoclaves and let you know when it’s time for anything.