This week is our 4th and final pillar from our Disinfection Dysfunction education campaign. If you answered yes to any of the questions we posed in the Label Deficit Disorder, Safety Indifference Syndrome, and Cross Contamination Conundrum blogs your product might just have Disinfection Dysfunction! Shall we find out if your disinfectant has Dwell Time Disease?
In recent years, we have put a great focus on the contact time or dwell time of a disinfectant product. I could go on ad nauseam about contact time citing numerous examples of why rapid contact times are important, but I think Drs. Rutala and Weber summed it up nicely in their “Selection of an Ideal Disinfectant” article with their statement "fast kill times are important because they give you confidence that you are killing the prevalent and most common healthcare-associated pathogens before the disinfectant solution can dry". If you want to read more on this topic, our “Dirty to Disinfected in 60 Seconds Flat!” will give you more background. To see the validated results on this topic, a study looking at the efficacy of Improved Hydrogen Peroxide (IHP) products versus a Quaternary Ammonium Compound (QUATs) showing that IHP products kill more in a shorter period of time – something that is definitely relevant for any facility needing to kill germs!
Why has this become relevant? As we see with many auditors during their observations of current wipe disinfection practices in busy healthcare facilities, surfaces tend to be wiped once and then left to air dry. We talked about this in detail in our “Premature Evaporation – Is your disinfectant fulfilling your every desire?” blog so I won’t repeat again. But if I can direct you to a study that tested dry times against label contact times, only one disinfectant technology achieved the requisite wet time using this approach. In all other cases, the disinfectant dissipated or evaporated short of the contact time indicated on the label, requiring re-application (in some cases multiple re-applications) in order to achieve compliance. If your wipe disinfection practice does not include multiple applications to achieve the requisite wet times, you may be leaving your healthcare facility open to HAIs.
Ask yourself “Does your disinfectant dry before it’s time?”