Survey results released today reveal that 34 percent of Americans(1) have, or know someone who has, acquired an infection after being exposed to infectious pathogens during a hospital stay. Moreover, the survey found that 64 percent of Americans do not think they would be better protected from these microorganisms in the hospital than in their daily lives. The findings released today underscore that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are affecting perceptions of the safety of healthcare facilities and that new technologies are needed to help protect patients from hospital germs, including superbugs such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pseudomonas) and E. coli. These superbugs can result in HAIs, which occur in nearly 2 million patients each year,(2) and lead to extended hospital stays, additional healthcare costs and patient deaths.
The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), also found:
- Nearly 99 percent of Americans understand that the cleanliness of patient rooms has an impact on the spread of infections in hospitals.
- Americans are making decisions about where to receive hospital care based on where they perceive they will receive the safest care. In fact, 75 percent of Americans say it is more important to choose a hospital based on lower infection rates rather than on convenience when in a non-emergency situation.
- An overwhelming number (94 percent) of Americans would prefer seeking care at a hospital that uses the latest technology available for preventing the spread of infection.
"As a healthcare professional, I knew the infection statistics and took extra precautions but I was still powerless to prevent my 51-year-old sister from acquiring and dying from an HAI," says Daphne Morgan, MSN, RN, CIC. "Now, I am committed to working with healthcare facilities to employ new practices and technologies that strengthen infection prevention capabilities to offer patients safer environments."
According to the latest scientific research, contamination of the hospital environment, which includes hospital rooms and operating suites, plays an important role in the transmission of many superbugs that cause HAIs.(3) MRSA and Pseudomonas are tough to eliminate and can continue to live on surfaces in the patient environment after standard cleaning.(4-5) However, studies show healthcare facilities can reduce the number of pathogens in the hospital environment by introducing enhanced deep cleaning and disinfection protocols to augment manual cleaning practices.(6)
ASP's GLOSAIR Healthcare Environmental Decontamination is an innovative new disinfection technology that was designed specifically for the healthcare environment to deliver thorough environmental disinfection in a way that is safe for patients, healthcare staff and medical equipment. Studies have shown hydrogen peroxide vapor decontamination devices are effective at reducing surface contamination by pathogens in hospital rooms and operating suites and may be associated with a reduction in infection transmission.(7) GLOSAIR Systems work by creating a mist of approximately 5 percent hydrogen peroxide that is uniformly dispersed to disinfect all hard nonporous surfaces, including difficult-to-reach areas.
"Patients should not need to question the safety of the healthcare environment," says Dr. Utpal Khambholja, ASP's medical officer. "ASP is excited to introduce GLOSAIR Healthcare Environmental Decontamination, which has been shown effective against pathogens that cause HAIs. GLOSAIR, when used to augment manual cleaning processes, can provide healthcare facilities and patients with increased confidence that the patient environment has been thoroughly disinfected against the many bacteria and viruses that cause HAIs."
In a recent study of GLOSAIR technology, Nottingham University Hospital in the United Kingdom used GLOSAIR Systems in 11 rooms of its three elder-care wards and found GLOSAIR Systems successfully removed pathogens in high-risk clinical areas.(8) Due to the effectiveness of the system, following the study Nottingham University Hospital adopted GLOSAIR Systems as part of its routine infection control measures. The GLOSAIR System is also used by Dorset County Hospital in England to help reduce its HAI rates.(9) "These machines have helped us maintain a good standard of cleaning and manage a safe patient environment," says Paul Andrews, housekeeping manager at Dorset County Hospital. "We've achieved one of the lowest MRSA rates in the National Health System since adding GLOSAIR Systems to our infection-prevention practices."
(1) For the purposes of this survey, Americans were defined as US adults age 18+.
(2) CDC; Estimating Healthcare-Associated Infections and Death in US Hospitals, 2002. Public Health Reports. 2007, 122, 1. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/hicpac/infections_deaths.pdf.
(3) Weber DJ, Rutala WA, Miller MB, Huslage K, Sickbert-Bennett E. Role of hospital surfaces in the transmission of emerging health care-associated pathogens: Norovirus, Clostridium difficile, and Acinetobacter species. Am J Infect Control. 2010; 38 (5 Suppl 1): S25-S33.
(4) Boyce JM. J Hosp Infect. 2007; 65(Suppl 2): 50-54.
(5) Sethu AK, et al. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2010; 31(1): 21-27.
(6) Hota B. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004; 39: 1182-9.
(7) Boyce JM, Havill NL, Otter JA, et al. Impact of hydrogen peroxide vapor room decontamination on Clostridium difficile environmental contamination and transmission in a healthcare setting. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2008; 29(8):723-729.
(8) Shapey S., Levi K., Machin K., Boswell T. C. difficile detection and control challenges: Activity of a dry mist hydrogen peroxide system against environmental Clostridium difficile contamination in elderly care wards, Journal of Hospital Infection. 2008, 70, 136-141. Available at: http://www.clinicalservicesjournal.com/Print.aspx?Story=7639.
(9) Johnson and Johnson Annual Report, 2010. Available at: http://www.investor.jnj.com/2010annualreport/pdf/2010-annual-report.pdf.