Study Shows Products Reduce MRSA and C. difficile Infections

ROME, N.Y. -- To help prevent the spread of germs and protect its patients from infections, RomeMemorialHospital is using two new products that kill germs on hands and surfaces between cleanings. According to infection prevention director LeAnna Grace, the hospital conducted a 12-month research study of Germ Pro's new surface disinfectant and hand sanitizing lotion to evaluate how well they work and was excited by the results.

"At Rome Memorial Hospital, we have an excellent record of protecting our patients from getting an infection during their hospital stay because we follow the infection control guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," Grace said.  "But, even one healthcare associated infection is too many.  That's why we're always looking for better ways to kill germs."

While testing the new technology of Germ Pro's Persistent Action Plan, Rome Memorial Hospital reduced healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) by 27.4 percent, the study concluded. "Use of Germ Pro in combination with our ongoing infection prevention strategies, reduced two of the more dangerous infections -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) by more than 50 percent," Grace noted. "We haven't had a central line infection in a year.  We haven't had a post-operative pneumonia in more than a year.  In the final phase of the study, we implemented Germ Pro house-wide in May and haven't had a single HAI-MRSA case since," Grace said.

The CDC's hand hygiene guidelines require caregivers to wash their hands or use alcohol-based sanitizers before and after touching any patient.  Hospitals also use effective disinfectants to kill germs on surfaces. These products kill germs at the time of use, but don't have any persistent killing power between cleanings. With traditional products, germs can easily be reintroduced to clean surfaces by visitors, patients and staff. 

"It's just like at home. You finish cleaning the kitchen and no sooner turn around and there are fingerprints on the refrigerator," Grace said. "The beauty of the Germ Pro products is they keep working between cleanings so it's less likely for germs to multiply and spread."

According to Germ Pro president Wayne Albright, Germ Pro's Hand Sanitizing Lotion and Surface Disinfectant were proven by laboratory testing as required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). "We focused our efforts on developing a 'Persistent Action Plan' to give healthcare providers an additional tool to protect patients from the 2 million HAIs that occur annually in the United States," he said. "If you persistently kill the germs on your hands and the surfaces that your hands touch, you will not easily be able to pick up or transmit infections."

"MRSA and C. difficile have developed a resistance to some antibiotics, and multi-drug resistant germs are more common and a serious concern at all hospitals," Albright added.  "While HAIs drive up the cost of healthcare by an estimated $30 billion, the cost to patients and their families is incalculable. RMH was the first hospital to add this new technology to their infection prevention program.  Its management was very proactive in their desire to improve patient safety by preventing infections," Albright said.

He praised Grace and building services assistant director Fred White for their diligence in implementing Germ Pro and commended the doctors, nurses, and other hospital workers for their support in this effort to improve patient safety. "Results from this study were outstanding and have convinced other major hospitals to follow RMH's lead.  RMH should be commended for their role in this very significant improvement in hospital care," Albright said.  "Overall infections reduction of 27.4 percent is excellent, and more than 50 percent improvement in MRSA and C. difficile is outstanding. It greatly improves patient safety and significantly reduces healthcare costs."

Germ Pro's Hand Sanitizing Lotion is used in addition to normal hand hygiene guidelines.  Healthcare workers apply the alcohol-free lotion at the beginning of the day and again every three to four hours.  The lotion kills germs persistently for four to six hours and does not easily wash off.  As an added benefit, it protects healthcare workers' hands from alcohol-based sanitizers that can cause drying and cracking. Germ Pro's Surface Disinfectant is applied monthly after normal cleaning and disinfecting and reapplied in patient rooms after each patient is discharged. Based upon laboratory tests, it kills germs persistently for up to 28 days. The disinfectant is only applied to common high-touch items such as doors, handles, countertops, telephone, remotes, bedrails, bathroom surfaces, wheelchairs, gurneys, elevator buttons and computer keyboards. 

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Source: Germ Pro Products, Inc.