4 Ways to Improve Terminal Cleaning

by Erica Mitchell | August 24 2015

Terminal_Cleaning-01Terminal cleaning is a thorough, deep-cleaning of a patient room between occupants. Its purpose is to rid the room of infectious agents and provide the new occupant a sanitary space for recovery and healing. Terminal cleaning protocols vary by hospital, but the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has recommendations for environmental cleaning, including terminal cleaning. This advice includes the staff involved in monitoring and evaluating cleaning, the training of environmental staff, and the analysis of data collected through regular assessments.

As concerns over hospital-acquired infections have grown over the past decades, innovative technologies have been invented to aid in the reduction of germs in the patient room, what specialists call the "bioburden". Since numerous studies have proven that patients are infected as a result of a contaminated environment (and not just contaminated individuals) these technologies have emphasized testing the surfaces in room for proof of effective cleaning. Only recently has bacteria-killing technology emerged that supplements the cleaning done by environmental staff. This post will outline the 4 innovative technologies that assist a hospital in ensuring a clean, sanitary room for each patient.

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How clean is your hospital room?

by Erica Mitchell | August 18 2015

When we enter a hospital room as a patient, we are seeing the room at its cleanest. The room has just been scrubbed down during what is called "terminal cleaning," the rigorous cleaning that takes place after one patient is moved in preparation for the next patient to move in. However rigorous this cleaning procedure (and studies indicate that up to 60% of hospital rooms are not cleaned properly), there will be residual contamination by infectious pathogens. In a dynamic process of contamination and recontamination, after cleaning and through cross-transmission, germs stick around and continue to make patients sicker.

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Gram Positive vs Gram Negative Bacteria and the Fight Against HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | August 13 2015

Gram_p_and_n_new-01In formal descriptions of the germ-fighting powers of antibacterial and biocidal products, the terms "Gram positive" and "Gram negative" are used as a way to categorize bacteria. While there are estimated to be over 10,000 species of bacteria, they can be categorized into a few helpful categories.

One of those categories has to do with the structure of the cell membrane. All the known bacteria fit into one of two categories of cell membrane structure: Gram-positive or Gram-negative. But what does that mean?

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3 Takeaways from the "Do No Harm" series from Vox

by Erica Mitchell | August 5 2015

VOX_series_new-01-01-1

This past week, Vox published a series of articles by Sarah Kliff as a part of its year-long examination of fatal medical harm. The "Do No Harm" essays explore hospital-acquired infections and the patients they effect. We urge everyone to read and share this series. We'll explore three takeaways in today's post.

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