Who Lives in Long Term Care Facilities?
Long term care facilities are for patients who require 24 hour medical care and monitoring. Patients who live in these facilities are often elderly or are recovering from serious medical events such as heart attack, stroke or cardiac surgeries.
The Importance of Protecting Long Term Care Patients from HAI
These patients are particularly vulnerable to infection, especially living in a confined environment, so it’s important to protect them by taking steps to limit the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) such as Clostridioides difficile (C.diff) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Manual cleaning as well as a form of disinfection need to take place because manual cleaning alone is not enough to prevent harmful pathogens from spreading.
UVC Disinfection in Addition to Cleaning
Given human error, the thoroughness of cleaning can never be 100% consistent, so there’s a
chance that hospital rooms won’t be cleaned effectively every time. Also, the cleaning agents used are not able to kill certain resistant organisms. There’s an obvious need for more consistent and effective tools to reduce harmful pathogens. The greater the measures a hospital can take to disinfect, the less likely harmful pathogens will spread.
Disinfection in addition to traditional cleaning methods is the best way to help ensure a cleaner, safer environment. While manual cleaning is the predominant method, research published in the American Journal of Infection Control shows that as many as 50% of surfaces remain contaminated with pathogens, despite regular manual cleaning efforts. Ultraviolet-C (UVC) disinfection is a type of technology shown to be a successful addition to manual cleaning.
What is UVC Disinfection?
UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air and nonporous surfaces, according to the FDA. UVC technology deploys UV light to penetrate the cell walls of spores, bacteria and viruses, and renders harmful pathogens unable to reproduce and spread. UVC radiation has effectively been used for decades to reduce the spread of bacteria and harmful pathogens. When bundled with manual cleaning and disinfection protocols, this technology significantly reduces the presence of harmful pathogens.
How to Choose the Best UVC Disinfection System
UVC radiation can only inactivate a virus if the virus is directly exposed to the radiation for a specific time and delivered dose. Some UVC systems don’t administer the proper dose to effectively eradicate a virus and often miss areas that may contain dangerous pathogens. The right system should accurately measure the delivered UVC dose and include patented, remote UVC sensors and a “pause and reposition” feature that ensure that targeted areas of the room have received the optimal dosage needed to kill harmful pathogens. These features help address obstacles that might prevent areas from being disinfected.
In addition to measuring the delivered UVC doses, other important functions include: tracking treatment data, monitoring effectiveness, and sharing critical data with necessary stakeholders. The best UVC solutions help staff quickly and efficiently disinfect crucial treatment areas, thereby improving room turnover times and quickly returning rooms to service.
Contact us to learn more about using UVC disinfection as part of your environmental cleaning process in hospitals.