What are Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)?
Healthcare-associated infections are infections that patients can get while they’re receiving healthcare for another condition. They can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or other pathogens. They can happen in any healthcare facility, including hospitals, surgical centers, and long-term care facilities.
HAI can affect patients in any type of setting where they receive care, and they can also appear after discharge. Occupational infections among staff are also considered HAI. It is estimated that each year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world catch HAI.
The Dangers of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)
HAI can result in additional costs for health systems, high costs for patients and their family, increased resistance of microorganisms to antimicrobials, prolonged hospital stays, long-term disability, and unnecessary deaths. Urgent action is needed to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant organisms.
Environmental Services (EVS) teams and Infection Prevention Control (IPC) teams need to ensure that their infection control methods are efficient and effective at killing harmful pathogens that cause HAIs. Using UVC disinfection systems in addition to manual environmental cleaning is the best way to ensure that.
How UVC Disinfection Can Prevent the Spread of HAI
What is UVC Disinfection?
Ultraviolet-C (UVC) disinfection is one type of no-touch technology shown to be a successful adjunct to manual cleaning. According to the FDA, UVC radiation is a known disinfectant for air and nonporous surfaces. UVC technology deploys UV light to penetrate the cell walls of spores, bacteria and viruses and renders these harmful pathogens unable to reproduce and spread after treatment with UVC energy. 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, the technology significantly reduces patient exposure to HAIs.
H3 – How to Choose the Best UVC System
In today’s healthcare environment – including hyper awareness of virus transmission risk – hospitals need to choose technologies that can be measured and are able to provide the data needed to show proof of UVC dosing and compliance. UVC devices should be easily accessible to high-touch surface areas. Those surfaces need the most direct light to effectively and efficiently rid them of harmful, HAI-causing pathogens.
UVC radiation can only inactivate a virus if the virus is directly exposed to the radiation. If a surface is under a shadow, it won’t be disinfected. Some UVC systems don’t administer the proper dose and miss areas that may contain dangerous pathogens. The right UVC system should measure the delivered UVC dose and have a “pause and reposition” feature that helps operators ensure targeted areas of the room have received optimal dosage to kill harmful pathogens. This technology helps staff quickly disinfect crucial areas and return rooms to service.
Additionally, measuring the delivered UVC does, tracking treatment data, monitoring effectiveness, and sharing with necessary stakeholders is an important function of UVC light technology. Using patented remote UVC sensors and pausing and repositioning the UVC system, helps address variables such as room shape and other obstacles that might prevent areas from being disinfected. The best UVC solutions work to reach all targeted areas within a treated room, including those in shadowed or hard-to-reach places.
Contact us to learn more about UVC disinfection.