At the 18th Annual Ambulatory Surgery Centers Conference in Chicago on Oct. 29, Jack Wagner, president and director of scientific, technical and regulatory affairs at Micro-Scientific Industries, discussed nosocomial infections and best practices for surgery center cleaning and disinfection.
Mr. Wagner pointed out that almost all environmentally transmitted infections occur because a staff member fails to follow protocol.
In the case of OR surfaces, an intermediate-level disinfectant that kills mycobacteria TB is the industry standard. Mr. Wagner said TB is considered the industry benchmark because it is very hard to kill. “Chances are that if you kill TB, you have a product that can kill other bacteria and viruses,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Wagner advised that while pre-moistened wipes are suitable for non-clinical surfaces, they are not suitable for terminal cleaning and reprocessing of patient care devices. In that same vein, liquid cleaners and disinfectants may be used for both cleaning and disinfecting purposes and are better suited for corners, cracks and other hard-to-reach spaces. Other considerations include the following:
• Ready-to-use (opposed to concentrated cleaners/disinfectants) are easier to use and easier to defend during regulatory questions.
• Disinfectants containing alcohol and high alcohol (> 24 percent) always require pre-cleaning using detergent and water, followed by rinsing and drying. These types of disinfectants also cannot be used on clear plastics.
• Floors should be mopped between cases using a fresh, clean mop with detergent and water.