Virox Insights Blog

Just Released! Virox Solutions 2017 Spring/Summer Newsletter, Vol. 39

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

We are excited to deliver the most recent Virox e-newsletter, featuring a compilation of articles from global thought leaders on the most recent advancements in infection prevention & control. 

Don't miss the newest articles, from our latest edition:
2017 Summer Newsletter CTA

  • Preventing Hospital Infections, by Sanjay Saint, MD, MPH, and Sarah Krein, PHD, RN, University Of Michigan

  • The Role of Dry Surface Contamination, by Dr. Jon Otter, Imperial College London

  • Compare the Impact of an Improved Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfectant and a Quaternary Ammonium on Surface Surface Contamination and Healthcare Outcomes, Nicole Kenny, Professional and Technical Services,  Virox Technologies, Inc. 

  • Remembering Prof. Graham Ayiffe, Dr. Tina Bradley, Laboratory Manager, Hospital Infection Research Laboratory, Birmingham, UK 

  • New product announcement from Virox Technologies of Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® disinfectants, Prevention™ HLD8 

Click the image to get your you e-news now!

Topics: Newsletter

Who Will Save Us From The Microbe Militia?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Jun 08, 2017 @ 03:47 PM

 

 

Who Will Save Us From The Microbe Militia?

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We are almost at the end of our story “The Tale of the Microbe Militia”. After preying on hands, surfaces, and devices that have fallen victim to common disinfection myths and mistakes, the Legacy Chemistry Coalition is requesting back up. It is evident that the world is in need of a new super hero, one with all the characteristics of an ideal disinfectant and with the capabilities to fight on all three battlegrounds…hands, surfaces, and devices.

So what does this new superhero look like? Our new super hero will need to have a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy in fast and realistic contact times in order to defeat the Microbe Militia. Our super hero must not be affected by environmental factors that the Microbe Militia tries to hide behind such as organic matter or temperature. Our super hero must be safe for those she is trying to protect by being non-toxic to users and kind on surfaces. Our super hero must not be detectable by the Microbe Militia by being odorless, soluble, and stable. Our super hero must get the job done efficiently with exceptional cleaning capabilities and without causing harm to the environment. And finally, our super hero must be economical and easy to use so her powers can be leveraged in healthcare facilities around the world.

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If you are wondering who this new super hero is we hope that you will visit us at the national APIC conference in Portland, OR, or the IPAC-Canada conference in Charlottetown, PEI as we unveil our new super hero to the public. In the meantime, ask yourselves these key questions about the disinfectant you use in your facility. Are you using a super hero disinfectant technology or is your disinfectant part of the Legacy Chemistry Coalition?

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See you at APIC and IPAC!

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

 

 


 

Topics: disinfection, Health Standards

The Microbe Militia Continues to Gain Traction

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Fri, Jun 02, 2017 @ 01:47 PM

 

 

The battle continues......

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It’s been one week since the Infection Prevention Army exposed the disinfection myths spread by the Microbe Milita. Have you been able to dispel any the myths in your facility? Or perhaps you have uncovered some myths of your own. While the Infection Prevention army was able to expose these falsehoods, the Microbe Militia is now more aggressive than ever preying on hands, surfaces, and devices that are vulnerable to common cleaning and disinfection mistakes.

Common Mistakes Pertaining to Hands

Not using enough hand soap or hand sanitizer

  • We typically believe that when it comes to hand sanitizers and soap, one size fits all, which is evident by new automated hand hygiene stations. However, we need to consider the size of our hands when it comes to using hand sanitizers and hand soap to ensure that adequate coverage, and therefore efficacy of the product can be met. The volume of hand soap or hand sanitizer should be large enough to cover the whole surface area of both hands.

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  •  Not washing hands for long enough or frequently enough to reduce the potential for bacterial transfer,  we need to wash our hands for longer than 15 seconds (try singing Happy Birthday in your head) and should practice hand hygiene before initial contact with a patient or items in their environment, before putting on PPE when performing an invasive procedure, before preparing, handling, or serving food or medications to a patient, after care involving contact with blood or body fluids, immediately after removing PPE and before moving to another activity, after contact with a patient or items in their immediate surroundings upon leaving the room, and finally, whenever in doubt.
Not using moisturizer after practicing hand hygiene
  • Good skin condition is an important element in ensuring good hand hygiene practice. Frequently washing hands can lead to drying of the skin where pathogens can harbour. Reconditioning creams help maintain healthy skin and avoid dryness.

Common Mistakes Pertaining to Surfaces

Failing to achieve designated contact time

  • In other words, the surface being disinfected does not stay wet with the right concentration of in-use solution disinfectant for the full length of time required for efficacy. If you wet a surface down via spray bottle and immediately wipe the surface dry, it won’t be effective. In addition, spray bottles increase the risk of a pathogen getting blasted onto another surface. It’s better to spray the disinfectant onto the cloth to wet it down, then use physical friction to apply the product to the surface. This helps pick up any soil, debris and microbes you cannot see and finally, provides a more even distribution of the disinfectant solution onto the surface than random splatters from the spray bottle. When the disinfectant air dries you have a better chance of achieving the designated contact time.

Topping off diluted disinfectant bottles, rather than starting each time with a cleaned bottle and fresh batchsurface-400-x-275.jpg

  • Making this mistake means you’ve just mixed old disinfectant with new. This can lead to an over-diluted or inactivated mixture. In other words, it won’t work as well and there’s science to prove it!

Eyeballing dilutions

  • Eyeballing the required dilution of disinfectants is often a result of not having access to a dilution system or not having dilution systems in a convenient location. When disinfectants are not accurately diluted you can either get solutions that are not strong enough which will not provide the desired germicidal efficacy, or you get solutions that are too strong which can put the safety of staff at risk. Furthermore, if you do use a dilution system, it’s essential to ensure that dilution systems are maintained to ensure they can properly dilute disinfectant solutions.
Cross Contamination
  • Did you know that some disinfectants or the cleaning substrates used to clean can transfer pathogens from surface to surface during the cleaning and disinfection process? When disinfecting it’s important to ensure that we use a clean cloth (no double dipping!), or fresh pre-saturated wipe for each surface being disinfected to prevent picking up pathogens from one surface and depositing them onto another surface.

Common Mistakes Pertaining to Devices

Not knowing the shelf-life of the disinfectant being used

  • In addition to knowing the shelf-life of the disinfectant, it’s important to know how long the shelf life of the re-use period is to ensure there is enough active in the solution to continue to work properly. The in-use shelf-life for some disinfectants may only be single use, or as long as 30 days. The concentration of active ingredient within the re-use solution should be validated using chemical indicator strips. It’s also important to read the product label as it pertains to the shelf life of the solutiondevices-bottle-chemistry-400-x-400.jpg once the bottle has been opened. The shelf life of some disinfectants is dramatically reduced once the bottle has been opened.   
Not giving or receiving product-specific training to team members
  • Just because you learned how to clean from a family member at home doesn’t mean you know how to properly clean and disinfect in a device reprocessing setting. And, just because you know how to use one disinfectant does not mean you know how to use another one. Different disinfectants work different ways with various shelf lives, contact times, and safety precautions. Disinfectant manufacturers or sales reps can provide training materials or lead staff training sessions. Just ask. It may also be beneficial for both staff and patients to implement a compliance monitoring system to ensure that important processes and policies are being followed and disinfectants are being properly used.

As an essential member of the Infection Prevention army, my hope is that you will be extra diligent in ensuring that these common blunders are avoided in your facility so that together we can defeat the Microbe Militia.

Insightfully yours,

 

Olivia

 


 

Topics: disinfection, Health Standards

The Infection Prevention Army Dispels Disinfection Myths

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, May 25, 2017 @ 10:24 AM

 

 

The battle has begun......

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This is a tale of the Microbe Milita. Who doesn’t love a good fairy tale? I am sure you know the ones where the prince and princess fall in love, live happily ever after and there is ALWAYS a happy ending. But have you heard the tale of the Microbe Militia? Unfortunately, this story doesn’t always have a happy ending. The Microbe Militia invades hands, surfaces, and devices, spreading falsehoods about disinfectants which leads to adverse outcomes such as disease and even death. Thankfully the Infection Prevention army can expose these disinfection myths to reduce the Microbe Militia’s stronghold and get that happy ending patients and clients deserve.

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Cleaning and disinfecting are the same thing

Not true. Cleaning uses detergents and surfactants to break up soils (visible or not) on surfaces. Disinfectants kill or inactivate microorganisms and pathogens in various ways, depending upon the disinfectant used. Some penetrate the outer layer of a pathogen’s cells, which weakens it. Other sort of blow the cell apart, almost like a bomb.

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All disinfectants are created equal and can be used in the same way.

Not even close.

In the United States and Canada, you’ll find thousands of registered disinfectant products for sale, and there are several variations between them. Among the six most common chemistries used for disinfection, especially in healthcare settings, you’ll find vast differences in spectrum of efficacy, concentrations, contact times, label language, and personal protection needed for proper usage. In addition, many disinfectants require you to clean a surface or device first with a product containing detergents before you can use a disinfectant on the surface.

 

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Cleaning and disinfection is not my job

In any healthcare setting, infection control strategies must be part of everyone’s job even if they don’t do the cleaning itself. Everyone is encouraged to frequently practice hand hygiene, especially after contact with a patient or items in their environment. Cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene are an important part of maintaining a safe and functional healthcare facility.

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If a disinfectant kills most germs, it must be toxic

Historically, this was true. In the past 10-15 years, however, companies have been working to bring safer and more environmentally sustainable disinfectants to market.

If you’re using an older disinfectant product (such as bleach or phenols, for example), be sure to provide training on protocols for safe use. Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are your best resource to learn about the toxicity and risks associated with using the product. See Section 2 and Section 11 on the SDS for details. Some products do indeed contain chemicals that are known carcinogens, known respiratory irritants (causing occupational asthma or chemical pneumonia), known skin sensitizers, known to release volatile organic compounds (leading to poor air quality), or known to contain nonylphenol ethoxylates (hormone-mimicking agents that can act as endocrine disruptors in the body).

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Antibacterial soaps are more effective than regular soaps

Again, not true. Studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no more effective against germs than regular soap. In fact, many active ingredients used in antibacterial soaps, such as triclosan, not only have negative health effects, but they have been shown to cause antibacterial resistance. 

Now that you know the top 5 disinfection myths, spread the word (i.e. share, like, and forward to your friends and co-workers) to ensure we prevail over the Microbe Militia, because you know what they say, knowledge is power. While exposing disinfection myths is part of the Infection Control Army’s strategy to defeat the Microbe Militia, planet earth is in desperate need of a disinfectant super hero who is able to battle and defend on all three essential battle grounds: hands, surfaces, and devices. Who will come to the rescue?

Stay tuned… 

Insightfully yours,

 

 

Olivia Lattimore

 

Topics: disinfection, Health Standards

What’s new for 2017?

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 01:58 PM

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Let me begin by saying…HAPPY NEW YEAR! In my last blog post, I admitted to being a total Christmas junkie. I am sure I was not the only one who felt a little bit sad packing up the Christmas decorations knowing that I still have to endure another 3-4 months of winter without having any holiday cheer. There is something satisfying, however, about starting a new year with fresh starts and new beginnings. In fact, I started 2017 by giving my house a top to bottom clean with my new vacuum cleaner, re-organized all my closets, and purged a bunch of junk that we collected during 2016. Fresh starts feel great, but I am not the only one taking advantage of New Year. The New Year also signifies new opportunities for emerging pathogens to make their debut appearance. Let’s take a look at some of the top emerging pathogens from 2016.

According to the World Health Organization, emerging diseases from 2016 requiring urgent attention include: Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever, Ebola, Lassa fever, MERS, SARS, Nipah and Rift Valley fever. As these diseases start to make headlines the tendency is to start freaking out! We go straight to our disinfectant to see if it has an efficacy claim against the new pathogen and when we can’t find the efficacy claim we call the manufacturer frantically asking if our disinfectant will be effective. It’s important to understand that when new pathogens emerge, it takes time to identify what that pathogen is and develop an EPA/Health Canada approved efficacy testing protocol and/or determine if regulatory bodies will in fact allow such a claim on the label. But there is no need to panic because if your facility is using an ideal disinfectant, your facility should be protected from these emerging pathogens.

Spectrum of Efficacy

Did you know that all of the emerging pathogens I mentioned above are enveloped viruses? Enveloped viruses are considered the easy to kill viruses (compared to non-enveloped viruses) and are very susceptible to hospital grade disinfectants. However, what we don’t know is if the emerging pathogens of 2017 will be just as easy to kill which is why we want to use a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of efficacy. Having efficacy claims against bacteria, enveloped viruses, non-enveloped viruses and fungi will ensure that your disinfectant can handle any new pathogens that might come your way. Non-enveloped viruses are especially important, as in 2016, the EPA developed an emerging pathogen guidance document for viral pathogens not listed on EPA registered disinfectant labels. In order to be eligible to meet the Emerging Pathogen Guidance, the disinfectant product must meet the following 2 criteria. 

  1. The product is an EPA-registered, hospital/healthcare or broad-spectrum disinfectant with directions for use on hard, porous or non-porous surfaces.
  2. The currently accepted product label (from an EPA registered product as described above) should have disinfectant efficacy claims against at least one of the following viral pathogen groupings:
    1. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least one large or one small non-enveloped virus (such as Poliovirus, Norovirus or Adenovirus) to be eligible for use against an enveloped emerging viral pathogen.
    2. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least one small, non-enveloped virus to be eligible for use against a large, non-enveloped emerging viral pathogen.
    3. A product should be approved by EPA to inactivate at least two small, non-enveloped viruses to be eligible for use against a small, non-enveloped emerging viral pathogen.

Disinfectant Compliance

While your disinfectant may have a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy, it will ultimately be useless if staff do not properly use the disinfectant. There are many factors that result in poor compliance including: long contact times, 2 step disinfection verses 1 step, poor safety profile, and not being user friendly. Ultimately we want our disinfectants to not only have a broad spectrum of efficacy but we want them to have fast and realistic contact times that can be achieved in 1 application, be a one-step cleaner disinfectant, be non-toxic and non-irritating and come available in multiple sizes and formats. In fact, Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) disinfectants have been designed with all of these criteria in mind. All AHP® based disinfectants have a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy including efficacy against gram negative and gram positive bacteria, enveloped viruses, non-enveloped viruses, and fungi in fast and realistic contact times (as fast as 30 seconds against non-enveloped viruses). Furthermore AHP® based disinfectants have been formulated to stay wet for their required contact time, and are proven to be non-toxic, non-irritating and non-respiratory sensitizing. Finally, AHP® based disinfectants are available in multiple sizes and formats making it user friendly to ensure that we give users the best shot at compliance.

I’m sure many of you have made some New Year’s resolutions, so please share them with me in the comments, or tweet them to me @olivialattimore! I hope we can all make creating cleaner and safer environments for our patients, clients, customers and staff a goal for 2017. I wish you all an amazing year ahead!

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

Topics: cleaning, new year cleaning, vacuum, potential outbreaks, world health organization, new year, 2017

Spread Christmas Cheer...Not Christmas Germs!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Dec 08, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

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Can you relate to being a total Christmas junkie? I had my Christmas tree up November 18th, have already watched 4 Christmas movies, baked my first batch of Christmas cookies and almost have all of my Christmas shopping done and gifts wrapped. I am THE crazy Christmas lady. Normally my husband is much more of a Christmas junkie than I am (he wanted to put the tree up November 1st!), but he recently came down with the flu which unfortunately has given him the holiday blues. I absolutely refuse to get sick this Christmas season. In fact, I am making my husband sleep in our spare room and I have been disinfecting like crazy, because there is nothing worse than missing out on the holiday cheer because you are feeling ill.

Whether you are a Christmas junkie like me or desperately try to escape the holidays, I am sure we all have a common goal to stay healthy over the next month. To help make this Christmas wish come true, this month’s blog is dedicated to providing you with tips to prevent becoming a grumpy Grinch.

The common cold, including chest colds, head colds, and the seasonal flu are caused by viruses that can put a damper on your holiday spirit. While cold and flu season can start as early as October and can last as late as May, activity peaks during Christmas time and will want to make you say Bah-Humbug! The single best way to protect yourself and family against the flu is to get vaccinated each season. Another effective way to prevent the cold and flu is to practice good hand hygiene, as hands play a major role in the transfer of infectious diseases. In fact, our hands spread up to 80% of germs! The CDC recommends that we wash our hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. We also need to be conscious not to touch our face, eyes or mouth to prevent transmission.

Furthermore, whether you are escaping the Christmas cold or eating your way through the holidays, gastroenteritis is one way to give you the holiday blues. Gastroenteritis is commonly referred to as the stomach flu and is caused by irritated and inflamed intestines or stomach typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection such as E. Coli, Salmonella and Norovirus. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of food borne illness and Norovirus. Additionally, contaminated foods may look and smell normal so it is important to ensure that foods are thoroughly cooked to destroy bacteria. It is also important to stay home when sick as this may substantially reduce transmission of these illnesses.

 

Lastly, who doesn’t love a little mistletoe during the Christmas season?! If you happen find yourself caught under the mistletoe, watch out for cold sores! Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are painful blisters caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). To prevent catching a cold sore, avoid skin-to-skin contact with others while blisters are present. Avoid oral contact with anything that might touch the lips or skin of another person before it is decontaminated including drinking glasses, coffee mugs, straws, washcloths, towels, utensils, and lip balm.

One last important Christmas illness prevention strategy is to ensure surfaces (especially high touch ones) are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Using a hospital grade disinfectant, with a broad spectrum of efficacy, will be an imperative part of any infection prevention program. Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) is an EPA and Health Canada approved disinfectant technology with proven efficacy against enveloped viruses (easy to kill such as the flu virus), non-enveloped viruses (hard to kill such as Norovirus), and vegetative bacteria (like E. coli and Salmonella). Not only does AHP® have a broad spectrum of efficacy, but it has realistic contact times and is non-toxic and non-irritating resulting in user compliance, providing confidence that surfaces have been disinfected.

So rather than spreading our germs this holiday season, let’s stick to spreading Christmas Cheer. From all of us at Virox, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.

Insightfully yours,

Olivia    

 

Topics: disinfect, germs, christmas, holiday, cold and flu

Disinfectants: Our Shield against Antibiotic Resistance

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

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I’ll admit I am a total Apple brand snob. I love having the latest and greatest Apple technology (not that I can keep up with it!). It’s CRAZY the technological world we live in. Every time I experience a technology pain point, Apple someway, somehow, finds a way to overcome it. Imagine we lived in a world where technology never evolved, I would probably be writing this on a typewriter! It seems like a crazy concept doesn’t it? But this is very much our reality when it comes to a very important and essential innovation…antibiotics.

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic and is considered one of the world’s most pressing health concerns. Antibiotic resistant organisms (AROs) can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous and potentially deadly infections. As such, there has been a push towards antibiotic stewardship to ensure antibiotics are prescribed and used responsibly, to inhibit the development of resistance. However, did you know that disinfectants also play an essential role in preventing AROs? When an EFFECTIVE disinfectant is used CORRECTLY, disinfectants have been proven to prevent the transmission and development of harmful AROs. So what should you look for in a disinfectant product to help you tackle antibiotic resistance?

First, we want to prevent resistance with the disinfectants we use, not contribute to the problem.   Choose a disinfectant with an active that readily degrades into the environment such as Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®), Citric Acid, and Peracetic Acid. The reason we want to use products with actives that readily degrade, is because actives that leave behind an active residue and build up in the environment, such as QUATs have been shown to lead to bacterial resistance.

Secondly, we don’t know what pathogens are lurking on our surfaces, so we want to make sure that our disinfectant covers all our efficacy needs. Therefore look for disinfectants that achieve a broad spectrum of germicidal efficacy in fast contact times. AROs are considered vegetative bacteria which can be easily inactivated using a low level disinfectant. Furthermore, we want our disinfectant to achieve this efficacy quickly – the shorter the contact time, the higher the likelihood of compliance from staff responsible for infection prevention

Lastly, we want to ensure that our disinfectants are non-toxic and non-irritating and that staff feel comfortable using their disinfectant. The best way to prevent the transmission and development of AROs is to ensure that staff uses disinfectants correctly, guaranteeing that AROs are killed. The most effective disinfectant in the world is useless if the staff is afraid to use it! Disinfectant users don’t just clean and disinfect once a day or once a week, they are disinfecting multiple times a day increasing their exposure to these chemicals.

Where can you find a disinfectant that meets all of these criteria? AHP® is an excellent weapon of choice when it comes to the war against AROs. AHP® readily breaks down into oxygen and water, ensuring that it doesn’t contribute to resistance, it has germicidal efficacy against a variety of pathogens of concern (including AROs), it has fast and realistic contact times and it has been designed to be non-toxic and non-irritating so users are fear free when it comes to using AHP®. And best of all, AHP® has been proven to dramatically reduce AROs such as VRE (20-23%)!

When it comes to antibiotic resistance we ALL have a role to play. From practicing antibiotic stewardship to choosing responsible disinfectants, we can all be a part of the solution to this global problem.

Insightfully yours,  

Olivia Lattimore

Topics: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide, AHP, Resistance, ARO, Antibiotic Resistant Organisms, Prevention, ESKAPE

Disinfectant Bunk!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

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Bunk
Noun
Synonym: nonsense



Infection Control Week happens to be one of my favorite weeks of the year.  As a total germ nerd, there is nothing more exciting to me than education pertaining to the prevention and control of harmful microorganisms. But, as much as I LOVE education, my absolute pet peeve is when education is not backed by scientific evidence and therefore becomes BUNK. We see it all the time with new celebrity health crazes such as cupping and detox diets, but did you know there is also a whole bunch of Disinfectant Bunk out there as well? Join me as we unravel the top 3 disinfectant bunk!

Bunk #1: The Claims Game

Did you know that many disinfectant manufacturers will contain a shopping list of pathogens on their product label in order to look more effective? Instead of looking for disinfectants with the greatest number of efficacy claims, we want to look for disinfectants with the most applicable claims. There are different classes of pathogens, each with surrogate organisms that are reflective of the gold standard or more difficult to kill pathogen in that class such as:

Vegetative bacteria: Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Fungi: Trichophyton mentagrophytes

Viruses: Poliovirus

Mycobacteria: Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium terrae

Bacterial Spores: Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium sporogenes

When cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, it is important to consider what pathogens are relevant to patients and the facility and focus your attention on a disinfectant formulation that provides you with a balance between effectiveness and minimal toxicity to increase user compliance.  

Look at Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) for example, on our product label, you won’t see a ridiculous number of efficacy claims, instead we focus on the pathogens that matter for all our low level, intermediate level, high level and sporicidal disinfectants. Furthermore, we know that AHP® is extremely effective as it has been proven to reduce HAIs by 20% saving facilities thousands of dollars! 

Bunk #2: 24 Hour Sanitizing

How many of you have seen the phrase for liquid disinfectants “Continues to sanitize for up to 24 hours, even after multiple touches”? Seems too good to be true doesn’t it…that’s because it is! What marketing literature doesn’t tell you is that surfaces need to remain clean in order for the disinfectant to keep on sanitizing for 24 hours.   Furthermore, what this also indicates is that this product doesn’t readily degrade, but rather builds up in the environment leaving an active residue behind. Studies show that disinfectants that leave an active residue behind on surfaces contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, a major global health crisis we are currently facing. Instead look for disinfectants with actives that readily degrade into the environment such as hydrogen peroxide! In fact, AHP® breaks down into water and oxygen leaving no active residues behind, ensuring that it won’t contribute to antimicrobial resistance.

Bunk #3: Green Claims

With the global movement to become more environmentally sustainable, many disinfectant manufacturers claim to be green by putting their own “green” logo on their disinfectant label. Just because a product claims to be green doesn’t mean that it is. Product environmental preferability claims should be validated by credible third party certifications (such as EcoLogo, Green Seal, Green Guard, and Design for the Environment (DfE) that have been designed to ensure strict standards are followed in the formulation of cleaning and disinfection products. A number of AHP® based cleaners and disinfectants meet both industry and government requirements to be labeled a “green” product, in fact, a variety of AHP products have received DfE, EcoLogo, Green Guard and Green Seal certification.

 

Marketing can be sneaky and can unfortunately lead to believing in a lot of bunk! That’s why it’s so important to make educated and informed decisions about the products we use and ensuring that they have been validated by third parties so we can effectively and efficiently combat germs in the war against microbes!  

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

 

Topics: Infection Control Week, Claims Game, Green Claims, Infection Prevention Week, Hour Santizing

The Diva in the Laboratory

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

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In my last Blog “Get an A+ in Infection Prevention”, I reminisced on the excitement around the first day back to school. With all the students back in school, I am reminded of one of my favorite subjects…SCIENCE! In high school I had the BEST chemistry teacher and always looked forward to his labs. As someone who loved science class, contrary to what you may think, I was not a science nerd…more like a major DIVA! I will never forget the day I wore a brand new blouse to chem lab and refused to wear my lab coat because there was no way that a frumpy lab coat was going to cover up my fabulous top.  Did I ever learn a lesson!  Not 10 minutes into the lab and I spilled sulfuric acid all over my new top and burnt a hole right through it! Needless to say…after learning the hard way I wore my lab coat for the rest of the year.

You may be wondering why I am telling you this story and how it relates to you. You see, while our lab had protocols and procedures that were meant to be followed (i.e. wearing PPE); I did not recognize the importance of complying with these protocols. In my case, I got lucky and only ruined my shirt, it could have been a lot worse and I could have been seriously injured. The same often goes for cleaning and disinfection. Many lab facilities such as life science labs, compound pharmacies and clean rooms, have protocols and procedures in place but still experience a lack of compliance. There are three main factors that influence compliance and that is Product, Protocol and Compliance Monitoring.

A facility may use a gold standard product; however, unless staff is trained on how to properly use the disinfectant…the product is well…useless. When implementing a new disinfectant, staff should be educated on the ins and outs of the disinfectant including safety precautions, proper application, cleaning and disinfection best practices as well as the facility’s protocols and procedures. 

There are hundreds of different disinfectants to choose from, so how does one choose the right product for their facility? Studies show that decision makers tend to focus on four key criteria when selecting a product: Cleaning Efficiency, Germicidal Activity, Safety and the Environment. Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) disinfectants have been designed with these criteria in mind. AHP® has excellent cleaning efficiency and has been proven to prevent cross contamination! Furthermore, AHP® offers a broad spectrum of efficacy against some of the toughest to kill pathogens in fast contact times without causing harm to users or the environment.

Finally, how can you tell if staff is cleaning what they should be? The answer is compliance monitoring! Compliance monitoring is not only important for monitoring the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection practices but is also crucial for training and quality control. As per the Hawthorne effect, behavior can be altered due to the awareness of being observed.  When staff is aware that the surfaces they clean are going to be audited, they are more likely to comply with cleaning and disinfection protocols.

A study by Alfa et al  and Boyce et al sums up the importance of Product, Protocol and Compliance Monitoring perfectly! When an effective product (AHP®) was paired with an effective training program and compliance monitoring, VRE, MRSA and C. difficile were reduced by 20% and 23%! WOW!

While I will admit that I am still a bit of a Diva, I have definitely changed my ways about following protocols and procedures and recognize the seriousness behind them! With that, I hope you will stop and evaluate your infection control programs to ensure your facility is equipped with the fabulous trio: Product, Protocol and Compliance.

Insightfully yours,

Olivia 

Topics: chemistry, school, laboratory, science, lab, class, diva

Get an A+ in Infection Prevention!

Posted by Olivia Lattimore on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

shutterstock_204138913.jpgI have always been a nerd and loved school. While my brother and sister soaked up every last bit of summer, I couldn’t wait to start packing my pencil case, organize my binders and of course pick out my “first day of school” outfit.  One of the most exciting things about starting a new school year was seeing what new students would be joining the attendance list. During the school year however, there always seems to be an unwelcomed guest appearance in the classroom…GERMS!

Many infections spike during the school year due to the nature in which kids play and interact with one another. For example, Norovirus, Chickenpox, Pink Eye, and Cold and Flu are all easily spread through close contact with an infected individual or through picking up the bug by touching contaminated surfaces.  Kids constantly hear “Did you wash your hands?”, “cover your mouth when you cough”, and as much as we try to drill hand hygiene into children, many kids would rather get back to playing instead of taking the time to properly wash their hands. When child care providers and teachers have so many kids to look after, it’s challenging to monitor hand hygiene compliance of all children. So what can teachers and child care providers do to keep kids and themselves germ free this school year?

As mentioned earlier, many school related illnesses are caused by transmission of contaminated surfaces. While hand hygiene is important in preventing the spread of infection, you can’t always count on kids to properly wash their hands. That’s why cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces will be your best bet to keep those germs off the attendance list.  High touch surfaces, and toys should be disinfected daily or more frequently during an outbreak.

To effectively combat these school year germs you need an effective disinfectant with efficacy against vegetative bacteria such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), enveloped, easy to kill viruses such as Influenza virus as well as non-enveloped, more difficult to kill viruses such as Norovirus. But it’s not just a product’s germicidal efficacy that should be considered. Children play on floors, sprawl on surfaces and engage in hand-to-mouth behavior giving them greater exposure to chemical residues left on surfaces after cleaning. Additionally, some disinfectants are known respiratory sensitizers which can lead to the development of asthma, thus it’s important to look for cleaners and disinfectants that won’t cause any harm to vulnerable children. When looking for cleaners and disinfectants that are safe for students and children, using the ChildSafe Guidelines as a reference for what characteristics to look for is a great start! They recommend considering the following:

  1. Products should be bio-based and biodegradable or naturally occurring ingredients
  2. Products should not contain chlorine-based ingredients (e.g. bleach)
  3. Products should not contain quaternary ammonium compounds (quats)
  4. Products should not contain phenolics
  5. Products should not be packaged as aerosol spray using propellant
  6. Products should not add to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria (e.g. quats)
  7. Products should be certified by GreenSeal, EcoLogo or DfE (Design for the Environment)

 

Is there a disinfectant product that meets all this criteria?! The answer is YES! Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide® (AHP®) is the only disinfectant technology that doesn’t compromise safety for efficacy. AHP® offers broad spectrum efficacy against difficult to kill pathogens without compromising safety to the user. In fact, AHP® has one of the best safety profiles when compared to other products on the market as AHP® is non-toxic and non-irritating to the eyes or skin and is approved as an asthma-safe disinfectant. Furthermore, as the name would suggest, AHP® is a hydrogen peroxide base disinfectant technology, meaning it degrades into oxygen and water, leaving no actives resides behind on the surface that children could potentially be exposed to. Another advantage of AHP® is that many of our cleaners and disinfectants have been third party green certified by GreenSeal, EcoLogo and Design for the Environment (DfE)! With the movement towards using products that are safer for staff, and students in schools and daycare facilities, the proven health and safety profile of AHP® solutions will make these products a perfect alternative to harsh chemicals.

Now that we through our lesson plan on how to protect the classroom from bugs and harmful chemicals, class is dismissed! I wish all the teachers, parents and students a germ free school year!

Insightfully yours,

Olivia

Topics: germs, Sickness, kids, education, school, back to school

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  • Insights--Blog.jpgOlivia is a passionate member of the Professional and Technical Services (PTS) team and is dedicated to educating readers on the importance of Infection Prevention and Control..