Exploring Infection Preventionists' Top Environmental Hygiene Interests: From Surface Cleaning to UV-C Technology

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IPs are keen to delve into the latest trends in environmental hygiene, with a focus on surface cleaning, air and water purification, product selection, and advanced UV-C technologies.

"Answers" 3D illustration  (Adobe Stock 215162905 by frender)

"Answers" 3D illustration

(Adobe Stock 215162905 by frender)

Infection preventionists (IPs) have a crucial role to play in protecting public health by implementing strategies that minimize the spread of infectious diseases. Their expertise in environmental hygiene is vital in ensuring safe and sanitary environments not just in hospitals but also in long-term care facilities. However, the field of infection control is constantly evolving, driven by new technologies and research. Considering this, it becomes important to ask: What environmental hygiene topics are IPs interested in learning more about?

Recently, on LinkedIn, Infection Control Today® (ICT®) posted a survey asking that question. The answer options were water and air purification; surface cleaning, disinfection; product selection; and advanced technologies, UV-C. Votes came from 250 IPs, and comments included “stethoscope hygiene” in all capital letters. One person noted that she would like to learn about all 4 topics.

“My education and employment backgrounds are solely in health care, while infection prevention requires knowledge in other professions, such as environmental hygiene,” Heather Saunders, MPH, RN, CIC, research nurse program manager at Johns Hopkins University Division of Infectious Diseases, and a member of ICT’s Editorial Advisory Board. “I would be particularly interested in learning more about surface cleaning and disinfection as well as water and air purification. I believe that more advanced knowledge in these areas will help IPs move forward in the science of infection prevention.”

Infection Control Today's Trending Topic: Patient Safety

Infection Control Today's Trending Topic: Patient Safety

Surface Cleaning and Disinfection: A Cornerstone of Hygiene

When asked about the environmental hygiene topics they wish to learn more about, a significant 38% of IPs highlighted surface cleaning and disinfection.This response underscores the fundamental role that clean surfaces play in infection control protocols. The meticulous cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surfaces are crucial steps in preventing the transmission of pathogens, especially in health care settings where vulnerable populations are at risk.

Effective surface cleaning involves not only the use of appropriate disinfectants for specific pathogens but also the implementation of proper techniques, frequency, and contact time. IPs are eager to learn about the latest research on disinfectant efficacy, best practices for surface cleaning in various settings, and strategies to ensure staff members' adherence.

Water and Air Purification: Enhancing Environmental Safety

The interest in water and air purification, at 32%, reflects a growing awareness of the importance of these elements in maintaining a healthy environment. Clean, purified water is essential for drinking, hand hygiene, and all medical procedures. Similarly, the quality of indoor air can significantly impact the spread of airborne pathogens.

IPs are eager to explore the latest advancements in water purification systems, particularly in health care facilities where vulnerable patients rely on safe water sources. Additionally, understanding the various air purification technologies, such as HEPA filters and UV-C disinfection systems, is crucial for minimizing the risk of airborne infections.

Product Selection: Navigating the Landscape of Disinfectants

The survey revealed that 15% of IPs are interested in learning more about product selection, particularly concerning disinfectants. With a myriad of disinfectant products available in the market, selecting the most effective and appropriate options can be challenging.

The survey shows that IPs are seeking to improve their knowledge to make informed decisions, from understanding the spectrum of activity to considering factors like contact time and compatibility with surfaces. Furthermore, staying updated on emerging disinfectant technologies and formulations is vital to adapting to evolving infectious threats.

Advanced Technologies: Harnessing UV-C for Enhanced Disinfection

Another 15% of respondents expressed interest in advanced technologies, specifically UV-C disinfection. Ultraviolet (UV) light has gained traction as a powerful tool in the fight against pathogens, capable of deactivating a wide range of viruses and bacteria.

The survey shows IPs are eager to explore the applications of UV-C technology in health care settings, such as mobile UV-C devices for room disinfection and UV-C light wands for targeted surface treatment. Understanding the benefits, limitations, and safety considerations of UV-C technologies is essential for integrating them effectively into infection control protocols.

Overall, these IPs' preferences regarding environmental hygiene topics reflect the dynamic nature of their field. These answers will also assist ICT in giving their readers the information they need and want. ICT is always open to your input. Send us a note at tmartonicz@mjhlifesciences.com.

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