Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dirty to Disinfected... in 60 seconds flat!!!

The Porsche (that’s pronounced Porsche-eh) 911 Turbo has been my dream car for years. Despite numerous remodels and refreshments to the car, it remains the epitome of sports car performance in my eyes. That’s right, I’m not only an infection prevention and control advocate, I’m also a car enthusiast. For many car enthusiasts, performance is judged by a simple figure...”What’s the 0-60mph time?” For the current Porsche 911 Turbo, it’s 3.4sec. That’s blisteringly quick. That means you could merge into major highway traffic in under 4 seconds from a dead stop on the side of the road. I’m sure that type of speed could come in handy for many of us when weaving through traffic during rush hour. Interestingly enough, disinfectants are often judged very similarly – by one simple figure...”What’s the contact time?” The shorter the contact time, the better performing the disinfectant is considered to be. However, unlike the speed or performance of an exotic sports car, which is rarely if ever utilized on a regular basis, the speed with which a disinfectant can exhibit its killing ability on hapless microorganisms is a critically important necessity. The more quickly a disinfectant inactivates pathogens on a surface, the more likely its use will effectively eradicate harmful bugs from the surface thus preventing transmission to other surfaces or people. In plain language, a disinfectant with a 1-5 minute contact time can be confidently relied upon to effectively disinfect the surface because its use is easily complied with. A single application of the product will result in the surface being sufficiently wetted for the required period of time which equals dead bugs and no transmission. Disinfectants with long, unrealistic contact times (ie. 10 mins) may require multiple reapplications of the disinfectant in order to keep the surface adequately saturated with the disinfectant for the requisite period of time. Ultimately, the proper use of these products is rarely complied with and thus disinfection is often not achieved. Far too often healthcare institutions utilize these slow or poor performing disinfectants resulting in incomplete or ineffective disinfection.

Now, unlike speedy sports cars which would be considered frivolous expenditures of a man going through a mid-life crisis, I believe I’ve effectively illustrated that top performing disinfectants with rapid and realistic contact times are a necessity for effective disinfection practices in healthcare institutions. Unfortunately, what these high performance disinfectants often share with their automotive equivalents is a premium price tag. In other words, you can’t get Porsche like performance at Honda Civic prices – both in the automotive world and in the disinfectant marketplace. Therefore, the business case must be made by infection prevention and control professionals as to the importance of effective disinfectants with rapid and realistic contact times. In particular, that their increased initial cost will likely lead to cost savings in the end by means of effectively disinfecting the surfaces which will result in a reduction of healthcare acquired infections.

Next week, please join us for a discussion on the other critical element of disinfectant performance - spectrum of kill.

Hasta la vista!
Lee -
The Germinator

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