Okay, I made up a word.....but none of the “a” words for EDUCATION worked and since I so love alliterations this allowed me to string 6 “a” words together – a tie with my “PEDv Pooping Pigs Pose Pharaonic Problems” back in January 2014.
I’m hoping some of you like me, were able to spend the last several days in Nashville, TN at the Music City Centre sopping up the posters, oral abstracts, education sessions and exhibitor hall. Admittedly in my role I’m spoiled and get to attend all sorts of education events and tradeshows for both the Human and Animal Health markets. It never ceases to amaze me, just when I think I have a good handle on all things cleaning, disinfection and sterilization for hands, surfaces and devices, something new pops up!
There are truly too many highlights from the conference to cover without creating a novel so I’m going to focus on the key messages I took away from the full day pre-conference disinfectant symposium which covered virtually every topic related to sterilization, disinfection and antisepsis for hands, surfaces and devices. It was an intensive 9hr day broken into 20 minute presentations and panel discussions by key thought leaders (Dr. Bill Rutala, Dr. David Weber, Dr. Charles Gerba, Dr. Curtis Donskey, Dr. Elaine Larson, Dr. Michelle Alfa to name a few of the speakers).
1. According to Dr. Rutala we need to focus on ALL touch surfaces not just what we have defined as high touch surfaces as the level of contamination on the low and medium touch surfaces has been found to be just as high as that found on the high touch surfaces.
2. According to Dr. Gerba, the toilet seat is cleaner than the surfaces in our kitchens. He recommends making your sandwiches on your toilet seat AND more disgusting was the work he did on E. coli and fecal contamination on our hand and bath towels. The basic conclusion for that work was if you wiped your face with your towel you may as well stick your head in the toilet and flush as the fecal and E. coli contamination would be the same.
3. Drs Rutala and Alfa both agreed that stainless steel surgical equipment is far easier to reprocess than GI equipment like endoscopes and Duodenoscopes. There is NO room for error in reprocessing GI scopes. But with Stainless Steel equipment, sterilized “crud” is still unacceptable with Dr. Alfa giving several disgusting examples of finding bits and pieces of “body parts” in different surgical equipment after cleaning and sterilization.
4. Dr. Rutala feels that it is time to up the level of disinfection requirement for GI scopes and make it mandated that sterilization is the required level of kill as HLD leaves room for error if a mistake is made or a corner is cut.
5. Dr. Emily Sickbert-Bennett, the Epidemiologist at UNC presented their Hand Hygiene project and was able to show that by increasing their hand hygiene rates by 10% reduced their C. diff rates by 14%!
6. Dr. Weber spoke about the fact that we are only a flight away from the next outbreak!
7. Dr. Larson presented data to show that there is a strong correlation between hand hygiene compliance and the number of patients nurses have to care for. As the number of patients and / or acuity of the patient increases, hand hygiene decreases.
8. Dr. Donskey made a very interesting observation in terms of the use of room decontamination devices such as UV. His concern based on observations he has seen is that EVS get lazy in their cleaning as they begin to believe that “the robots” will kill what they did not....
To my Canadian friends and colleagues I hope you had a wonder Canada Day yesterday and for my US friends and colleagues happy Independence Day!