It's unfathomable that 2013 is almost at a close. In writing this, our last and 52nd blog of the year Lee and I wanted to review the year and share what we and others think the Top 10 Talk Clean To Me blogs were. In writing the blog, I'm undecided if you should keep David Letterman's Top 10 in mind (Lee's pick) or because I'm singing along to Christmas Carols if perhaps the 12 Days of Christmas or The Sound of Music's "These are a few of my favorite things" should be the theme song to hum while you read (obviously I vote for humming!). I'll leave the decision to you and hope you agree with our Top 10 picks.
10. Burnt Bums Call for Ban on Disinfectants: Disinfectant residue determined to be the cause for chemical burns on a child's bottom. Perhaps rather than calling for a ban on the use of disinfectants and sanitizing agents in schools perhaps the better alternative is to lobby for the use of disinfectants and sanitizing agents that do not leave harmful residues behind. For example, hydrogen peroxide breaks down into water an oxygen - that sounds pretty safe to me!
9. It’s getting harder and harder to breathe!:Custodians and cleaners have the highest incidence of work related asthma. What steps do you have in place to reduce the potential exposure to harmful and potentially asthma causing chemicals? Does your product selection committee consider safer cleaning and disinfectant options or employ practices and protocols that will reduce a user’s chance of triggering occupational asthma?
8. ATTENTION LADIES! There is scientific proof of why men should put the toilet seat down!: Lidless conventional toilets may increase the risk of C. difficile environmental contamination. Should public toilets have lids? Certainly, they may help reduce potential spread of "stuff" being flushed, but will very likely become contaminated themselves upon flushing. Do you want to lift the lid knowing someone's "stuff" is on it?
7. Safe, Safer, Safely, Safest – Who knew they were “Bathroom” words!: Safe, Safely, Safer, Safest, Green, Non-Toxic, Harmless... are wonderfully simple yet descriptive words that clearly impart in plain English a meaning that the general population can understand, however, when it comes to adjectives used to describe EPA registered disinfectants they are banned, they are taboo, they are to be avoided at all costs and if used....there can be hefty repercussions.
6. ATTENTION PLEASE!! ATP CANNOT be used to compare different disinfectant chemistries!: If you're looking to change cleaning and disinfecting products and are looking at the use of ATP to determine which product works better I hope you'll think twice! ATP CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT be used to compare cleaning or disinfection effectiveness between difference chemistries.
5. ESKAPE Stops Here!: When it comes to disinfection, antibiotic resistant bacteria should be no more of a challenge to kill with hospital grade disinfectant than the non-resistant strains. Ultimately, ESKAPE pathogens can have a major impact on the treatment options available to healthcare professionals, but in the world of cleaning and disinfection - it’s just another day at the office.
4. Viruses - They cause more infections than you think!: Did you know that some of the most commonly transmitted viruses are not killed by the disinfectant you may be using on a day to day basis? Is your infection control program prevention or intervention based? Infection PREVENTION measures such as changing of disinfectant solutions or increased cleaning and disinfection during winter months can certainly be implemented with relative ease and will contribute to fewer infections. The alternative of course is having to implement INTERVENTION measures to help combat a viral outbreak!
3. iPads, iPhones and Blackberries….oh My!: Electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets and portable computers have become increasingly important tools for the delivery of healthcare services and certainly pose a very serious risk of becoming contaminated and acting as a source for the transmission of microorganisms. How then do we develop and infection prevention program for devices that were not developed with healthcare use in mind?
2. The Ugly Truth – 24/7, 365 = the optimal time for bacterial growth: The ugly truth is despite our best efforts hospital associated infections (HAIs) continue to occur. A research team showed that within 6.5 hrs after cleaning/disinfecting, the bacterial burden found on bedrails had rebounded back by 30% – 40%! Housekeeping budgets are largely comprised of man hours, cutting back on housekeeping are perhaps not the best way to save a facility money. Is anyone brave enough to go ask for more money in order to hire more cleaning staff and increase the frequency of cleaning?
1. Cotton – it absorbs more than just water: Did you know Quats and cotton do not mix? Perhaps your current VRE or MRSA outbreak is not due to poor cleaning, but due to the fact that while the name of the product may contain the word "Disinfectant" the cleaning process you are using may counteract and inhibit the ability for disinfection to actually occur.
We hope you agree with our Top 10 picks (and if you haven't read them, we hope you'll take the time to read them now!) Thank you from both Lee and I for your continued support of the Talk Clean To Me blog! We hope 2014 is full of health and happiness for all!