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, November 2, 2011

Preventative Maintenance – It’s Not Just for Your Car

For those of you that have been following our blog from the beginning, or those of you whom have joined us more recently but took the time to go back and read our early posts, you’ll recall my love of fine automobiles. I don’t think any of us would argue that following a strict preventative maintenance schedule for our vehicles – whether it’s a Kia or Porsche – is critically important to the longevity, safety, efficiency and performance of the vehicle. To put it plainly, we all readily recognize the importance of regular oil changes, tire rotations and fluid checks. Unfortunately for me, the maintenance costs for my beloved Porsche 911 Turbo are just another reason I’ll likely never be able to afford to own one.

Why then, when dealing with automated dilution control systems which are responsible for the safe, accurate and efficient dilution and dispensing of disinfectant chemicals, do we not necessarily share the same recognition for the importance of preventative maintenance and quality control? For instance, when was the last time your organization verified that all dilution control systems were working effectively? Considering these units single handedly control the concentration of disinfectant and thereby the effectiveness of that product, they have the potential to play a critical role in an organization’s overall infection prevention and control practices. A study conducted by Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) in 2009 identified the importance of conducting regular quality control checks on chemical dispensers and having a preventative maintenance plan in place to ensure their continued effective operation. Unfortunately for HHS, it was an increase in infection rates that prompted this plan of action to be implemented and for them to share their story with us. By no means had HHS been negligent, this was simply the standard of practice in most healthcare facilities at the time. Regardless, their findings were eye opening for many and had numerous healthcare facilities evaluating their practices.

So what does an effective quality control and preventative maintenance plan look like? It can take many forms, but the foundation of one includes the regular confirmatory testing of the diluted product and a schedule to examine and replace any components in the dispenser that may wear over time. By testing the active ingredient concentration of diluted solution on a regular basis (quarterly or monthly dependent on degree of risk) this will ensure any issues are potentially identified prior to posing a major risk. An annual or bi-annual overview of the dispenser itself will also assist in identifying any components that may fail and cause future issues.

Do you wait for your check engine light to come on before you proceed with changing your oil or checking your fluids? Likely not. So why wait for infection rates to increase before you verify that your dilution control systems are working properly? A preventative maintenance plan with a regular quality control measure will ensure the safe and effective operation of these units ensuring that the disinfectant in use is being used at the correct concentration and the desired results are being attained.

Hasta la vista!
Lee – The Germinator

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