15 Jun Healthcare acquired infections (HAI’s)
At BioDecon, we work to create more hygienic environments through a mix of decontamination, disinfection, sterilisation and deep cleaning. Our goal is always to ensure a safer, healthier environment for everyone that lives, works or visits a location.Last year we were called to an NHS teaching hospital to help with a problem it was having with healthcare-acquired infections.
There had been several outbreaks of superbugs, including MRSA, and several wards suffered C.difficile outbreaks.Some wards had been closed down due to the outbreaks, and the hospital was beginning to get media attention for not cleaning up the situation. The hospital management and resources were stretched to breaking point, and there were no obvious in-house solutions.
How do you clean up a healthcare-associated infection mess?
The problem was that no one had the knowledge and skills to tackle the extremity of the situation. BioDecon experts were called in to provide much-needed advice, guidance and to plan and implement a full decontamination process in the affected wards.
Our first step was to meet with the hospital management team to identify the key areas, the uninfected access points and rooms we could use, and prioritise the degree of the decontamination process. Following discussions, it was decided we would begin with the most clinically significant areas, the operating theatre, and post-operative care wards.
Hydrogen peroxide decontamination of clinical areas
We cordoned off and sealed the operating theatre, and completed a thorough decontamination process using hydrogen peroxide vapour. Following the completion of the decontamination procedure on the operating theatre, we used enzyme indicators from our sister company Portal Scientific, to test whether the cleanup process had been successful.
With the theatre having been inactive for several days the post-operative care unit was relatively sparsely populated, and we were able to move patients to a nearby ward to carry out a similar process in the post-operative care department. These two crucial areas are where the infection is most likely to occur due to open wounds and central line, catheter and tracheostomy procedures.
Following the process in these key clinical areas, we moved to the locations with the highest incidence of MRSA and C.difficile. These areas had already been quarantined, and a barrier had been set up where hand washing had to take place on entering and exiting the area.The process of decontaminating these rooms took several days, as patients had to be gradually moved out to other areas that had been designated healthcare-associated infection free, or had been decontaminated already.
Immediate decontamination validation of healthcare units
Following the completion of the decontamination of the hospital areas, the incidence of diarrhoea and vomiting from healthcare-associated infections returned to zero. MRSA was eliminated from the critical areas and was under control.We provided management with a report detailing what we felt should be done in the future to ensure a more hygienic environment and organised to come back and test the hospital regularly to ensure the hygiene levels remaining high.
The fact we use enzyme indicators rather than having to grow biological samples to test decontamination was a big hit with the hospital management team.It gave them immediate peace of mind and enabled us to return areas to operational use very quickly. As the pressure reduced on the management team, and the hospital’s resources things gradually returned to normal.
What we have learned as an on-call healthcare-acquired infections team
Having completed numerous interventions in situations where MRSA and other superbugs are causing illness, and even fatalities, we have learned a number of things along the way.First is working with hospital management teams to understand their perception of the situation, manage their understanding of the outbreak, and use their unique understanding of the environment to feed into our decontamination plans.
We also learned to work around their priorities and within their framework while following best practice decontamination processes.We also acquired the skill of dealing with lots of different types of hospital environment, from large wards, too small high dependency units. We believe our healthcare-acquired infection cleanup management skills are second to none in the industry, and our client responses to the projects completely back us up.
We bring a variety of equipment and tools to every project as we understand there are unique characteristics in every situation. We also understand it is important to be discreet when dealing with superbugs and other healthcare-acquired infections, to help hospitals manage their reputation, staff morale, and patient perceptions.
Contact BioDecon if you have a problem with healthcare-acquired infections
If you’re currently suffering a problem with healthcare-acquired infections in your hospital then get in touch with BioDecon today on 01904405959. We are available around the clock to come to your location to intervene and help guide you through the process of returning your hospital to a the best possible hygiene level. We always used best practice health and safety processes in our interventions, and our experience means we will always get the job done to a high degree of sterility assurance. We work to a 6 log reduction level.
If you want to know the best ways to control your environment to minimise healthcare-acquired infections, then our teams are happy to provide you with advice over the phone so that you can benefit from our years of experience. Get in touch today through our online form or on 01904405959.