Although mobile computing carts are used daily at most hospitals, they are rarely manually wiped down or disinfected. While a nurse may disinfect his or her hands upon entering and when leaving a patient room, he or she usually does not disinfect after examining a patient, checking vitals or changing a dressing and before documenting notes at the bedside. Because hand hygiene isn’t performed in between interaction with a patient and documentation, the mobile cart, keyboard, mouse and screen become a reservoir for bacteria. Due to lack of proper disinfection, the 200,000 mobile computing carts in use throughout the U.S. are an avenue for bacteria to go from room to room, infecting patients.
To combat the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), many healthcare facilities are turning toward UVC disinfection. Using the germicidal ultraviolet wavelength, automated disinfection devices like UV-CLEAN are rising in popularity since they support hand hygiene and cleaning protocols. With only 40% hand hygiene compliance in the U.S., additional daily disinfection of frequently touched surfaces should also be considered a standard procedure for reducing HAIs1,2.
Heres’ the top three ways UVC disinfection is the right complement to hand hygiene and cleaning protocols:
1) Housekeeping, nursing and IT dispute over who is responsible for cleaning computer carts and computer workstations, making these high touch surfaces some of the dirtiest places in healthcare. With no-touch UVC devices, any surface under the mount will be consistently disinfected on a schedule or after any sensed interaction — without the need for human interaction. For example, after a nurse takes a patient’s temperature and logs the information on her bedside computer, the UVC device would begin a cleaning cycle safely after movement was no longer detected.
2) Inconsistent implementation of disinfecting agents are another reason HAIs spread throughout healthcare facilities. Not letting a product dwell long enough or using the wrong product for the type of surface can impact effectiveness3; however, by also utilizing an automated cleaning modality like UVC devices, healthcare workers and patients can have confidence that the bio burden on high touch surfaces like mobile carts has been eliminated. In fact, studies have found that when used as a supplemental strategy, UV light can enhance disinfection and decrease bio burden to decrease HAI rates4.
3) Different healthcare facilities specialize in various aspects of patient health, and therefore, may have different workstation configurations and medical equipment. Cleaning in between keys on a keyboard or on complex medical equipment can be time consuming — and not always executed thoroughly. Low-intensity UVC radiation units come in various configurations for successful mounting to various point-of-care workstations and carts. In addition to the different mounts, the units are small. They can easily be installed on portable medical equipment, including pumps and imaging machines.
These are just a few reasons why UVC disinfection devices like UV-CLEAN make the ideal complement to hand hygiene and cleaning protocols. When used in conjunction with existing policies, UV light disinfection can protect patients and staff and save healthcare facilities costly consequences. Read Proximity Systems’ peer reviewed white paper for more information and to learn about the clinical study results.