Disinfection for Hospitals

In hospitals, as well as the healthcare industry, it is essential to set up a routine disinfection process for surfaces and sterilization of all medical devices. Since there are various disinfectants already on the market, it’s critical to know how they work and where to look at to pick the one that will best serve and protect your facility and importantly, people in it.

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How to Disinfect the Right Way

There is an important difference between disinfecting surfaces and simply cleaning them. Cleaning an area removes dirt and impurities with soap and water but does not necessarily kill germs. Disinfectants are generally chemical mixtures used to kill germs on surface areas but may not remove all dirt and impurities. Both cleaners and disinfectants are required to have clean and germ-free surface area. While cleaning and disinfecting any surface always pre-clean it with soap and water. Then make a disinfecting solution with 1/2cup Clorox® Disinfecting Bleaching a gallon of water. Wash or wipe this solution on all bleachable surfaces and allow to stand for at least 5 minutes. Finish by rinsing the area with water and allow it to air dry.

How to Disinfect Medical appliances

Disinfecting medical appliances is similar to disinfecting hard surfaces likes countertops. First wash and rinse them using dish soap and water. Wash, wipe or rinse items with water; then apply disinfecting solution. Let stand 5 minutes.

Selection Criteria to Help You Choose the Right Disinfectant

Selection Criteria to Help You Choose the Right Disinfectant

Dr. William Rutala and Dr. David Weber (University of North Carolina Healthcare, Chapel Hill, N.C.) present a multi-step framework outlining five key criteria that should be used to evaluate healthcare disinfectant solutions for environmental surfaces and noncritical patient care items. The “Key Considerations for Selecting the Optimal Disinfectant for Your Facility” framework was peer-reviewed and published in the July 2014 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

 

Relevant Kill Claims

Disinfectant products should be effective against the microorganisms (pathogens) that are the most common causes of HAI and outbreaks. Disinfectants are Health Canada registered and are licensed to kill pathogens. Please read the label carefully before use.

Appropriate Wet-Contact and Kill Times

In order to disinfect effectively a surface must remain wet at least as long as the disinfectant’s contact time in order to effectively kill microorganisms (pathogens). With regard to kill times, the faster the better however, not all disinfectants have the same kill time, so select accordingly.

Safety

As noted in the framework, healthcare facilities should consider the following when it has to evaluate a disinfectant based on safety, toxicity signal word, flammability ratings and personal protective equipment (PPE). The final point discusses how facilities should select surface disinfectants that are compatible with common healthcare surface materials to ensure routine product usage will not cause surface damage.

Ease of Use

As well as considering safety, the products ease of use is also an important factor and clear directions for use (DFU), acceptable odour profile and availability of multiple product forms can also contribute to selecting a disinfectant.

Other Factors

In addition to the four areas above, Drs. Rutala and Weber mention the following areas that should be considered when evaluating disinfectants:

  • Training and support offered by disinfectant manufacturer
  • Cost, taking into account product capabilities, infection cost, and cost per use
  • Standardization (i.e., minimizing the number of disinfectants used in your facility) to aid in compliance