With rates and deaths associated with Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) at historically high levels, many hospitals have taken extra steps to reduce these infections. New research finds that a dedicated daily cleaning crew who adequately clean and disinfect rooms contaminated by C. difficile using a standardized process can be more effective than other disinfection interventions. The study is published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), in a special topic issue focused on the role of the environment in infection prevention.
C. difficile is a highly contagious, antibiotic-resistant intestinal germ that causes inflammation of the colon, known as colitis. Any surface, (e.g., toilets, bathing tubs, and electronic rectal thermometers) can become contaminated with C. difficile spores. Spores can also be transferred to patients via the hands of healthcare professionals who have touched a contaminated surface or item.
During a 21-month period, researchers conducted a prospective intervention study at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center through three intervention sequences including: 1) the use of fluorescent markers applied to high-touch surfaces in patient rooms to provide monitoring and feedback on thoroughness of cleaning; 2) utilization of an automated ultraviolet (UV) radiation device as a complementary disinfection strategy used after cleaning; and 3) an enhanced disinfection process composed of a dedicated daily disinfection team and a process requiring supervisory assessment and clearance of terminally-cleaned C. difficile infected rooms. Each strategy built on the previous one.
To determine the effectiveness of the interventions, cultures were obtained from rooms contaminated with C. difficile after cleaning and disinfection. The fluorescent marker interventio
|Contact: Tamara Moore|
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America