We Love Infection Preventionists

This week is International Infection Prevention Week and it has never been more important. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us yet again how quickly dangerous infections can emerge and affect our everyday lives. It is the latest addition to the list of potentially life-threatening infections that we must all try to protect ourselves against.

International Infection Prevention Week runs from 18-24 October and is organised by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). This year’s event highlights the role of infection preventionists – the people who spend their lives working to prevent and eliminate infections. The title of the event is “We Love Infection Preventionists”.

The first International Infection Prevention Week was held in the USA during the 1980s to highlight the key role that infection prevention plays in patient safety and protecting public health. Since then it has grown to become one of the largest annual global events of its kind, bringing together healthcare professionals, administrators, legislators, and the public.

DIVERSEY – SUPPORTING INFECTION PREVENTION WEEK

At Diversey, we are actively promoting International Infection Prevention Week through our social media channels and direct contact with customers. We have also helped raise awareness by producing special posters and other media to share. In addition, we offer a complete range of hand hygiene products.

We know that many infections spread through personal contact and touching contaminated surfaces – and then touching our own eyes, nose or mouth. This is why surface disinfection and washing hands are always central to infection prevention.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how hygiene must become everybody’s business because of its critical role in preventing the spread of infection. As part of our duty as a leading cleaning and hygiene company, we continue using all of the opportunities at our hands to provide our communities with tools and resources that outline the best procedures and products to use for effective personal hygiene.

Diversey: Campaigning for Infection Prevention During October 2020

Are Your Hand Hygiene Products Up To Standard?

There has been a huge increase in demand for hand hygiene products during the Covid-19 pandemic. Existing suppliers including Diversey have increased their production capacity while companies from other industries have launched new products to help fill the gap. But how can businesses and their customers be sure that the products they are using are effective? The answer lies in checking that products meet international infection prevention standards.

Personal contact and touching contaminated surfaces – and then touching our own eyes, nose, or mouth – are two of the main ways the virus can spread. Disinfecting or washing our hands frequently helps to prevent this and is something we can all do. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is effective but there are many situations where this is not possible. An alcohol-based hand rub or gel that can be used on its own is an excellent option in these cases.

Professional hand hygiene products are tested against international standards to show they are effective. The UK and Europe use standards described in the EN system. Products that meet these standards must carry details on their packaging and in their documentation. Independent and accredited laboratories carry out this testing under strict conditions. This provides assurance that a product has been verified to meet a particular standard.

The EN14476 Standard

The most important standard related to the Covid-19 pandemic is EN14476. This covers the virucidal activity of chemical disinfectants and antiseptics. It applies to products – including hand rubs and handwashes – used in medical applications.

EN14476 is important at the moment because it includes a specific test against enveloped viruses (in the form of the vaccinia virus). This is the same type of virus as SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19. Enveloped viruses are generally easy to kill so disinfectants which meet the requirements of EN14476 (specifically the “fully virucidal” or “virucidal against enveloped viruses” tests) should be effective against SARS-Cov-2.

The EN14476 standard stipulates a product must deliver a “log 4” reduction in the amount of virus. This is the same as a 10,000-fold or 99.99% reduction and must be achieved within specific timeframes. Hand rubs, for example, must work within at least 30 seconds but take no longer than two minutes, reflecting the need for speed and convenience. Retail or consumer products are rarely tested to these exacting standards and generally claim lower (eg 99.9%) reduction rates.

ASK SUPPLIERS FOR EVIDENCE

Suppliers should be able to show evidence their products meet relevant disinfection standards. They should also offer additional supporting documentation such as user guides and wall charts that encourage frequent and proper use.

Diversey products that meet EN14476 include the Soft Care Des E, Soft Care Med H5, and SURE Instant Hand Sanitizer hand rubs. Each is available in a range of formats including dispenser systems and portable bottles with built-in dispensers. Diversey also offers small bottles for personal use. This provides customers with complete flexibility to select the right combination for every situation to encourage proper and frequent use.

MoonBeam3 is Effective Against SARS-CoV-2 in Seconds

We are delighted to receive confirmation through third-party testing that our MoonBeamTM3 UV-C disinfection technology is effective in just seconds against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

MoonBeam3 is an ultraviolet-C disinfection device that adds assurance beyond manual cleaning and disinfection. This portable, powerful solution disinfects quickly, reliably and responsibly. MoonBeam3 is cost-effective and designed for fast disinfection of public and high-risk areas. The system offers three individually-adjustable arms that can be positioned at almost any angle, optimizing disinfection energy to allow dosing of both horizontal and vertical surfaces, in just three minutes.

MoonBeam3 has undergone third-party testing against several microorganisms including enveloped viruses, small non-enveloped viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores. These tests have demonstrated a significant log reduction in these key pathogens.

Since studies have shown that contamination of environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities with SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is widespread, Diversey commissioned 3rd party testing of MoonBeam3 in the US, and has also partnered with the highly respected Fujita Health University in Japan, to test the effectiveness of the MoonBeam3 against SARS-CoV-2. The completed test results from Japan proved that MoonBeam3 was effective against SARS-CoV-2 under a range of conditions with contact times as low as 4 seconds for a 6 log reduction. This is equivalent to a 99.9999% or million-fold reduction in the number of virus particles.

This study validates that MoonBeam3 is effective against SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.

More About MoonBeam3

Cleaning teams have been looking for new ways to enhance their infection prevention capabilities alongside existing processes during the Covid-19 pandemic. At Diversey we have been helping customers meet this challenge and implement the right products and equipment to enable highly effective solutions. One of the products that has caused a lot of interest is our innovative Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology device.

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology delivers powerful UV-C light to provide fast broad area disinfection of high-touch surfaces. It is effective in as little as three minutes when used in conjunction with normal daily cleaning and disinfection processes. This is much faster than fogging and almost twice as effective as traditional cleaning and disinfection alone in destroying the pathogens that cause infections.

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology offers facilities a completely hands, chemical and fume-free way to complement existing processes with safer high-performance disinfection. The UV-C light produced by the device penetrates and destroys the DNA in the cells of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and spores. This stops them from multiplying and causing infections.

The device is ideal for surfaces accidentally missed during regular cleaning and for frequently touched, hard-to-clean surfaces and intricate equipment. In hospitals and care homes, it can be used in patient rooms, operating theatres, and bathrooms and on patient care equipment, keyboards, monitors, and workstations. In general settings, it can be used in almost any area to complement existing cleaning and hygiene processes.

Quick and Easy to Use

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology is quick and easy to use. It has push-button activation and short operating cycles. The three articulating, light-producing arms can be positioned independently to target light efficiently and closely onto surfaces. This high-efficiency dosing reduces disinfection times.
Areas to be treated require no special preparation and can be used immediately after the device has been turned off. This means rooms are out of use for much less time than required by many alternative processes. The speed and simplicity of the device make it suitable for more settings and typically allows one operator to treat more areas each day. This enhanced productivity means lower labour and operating costs. Periodic maintenance is limited to bulb replacement, with no tools required.

Although it was devised for hospitals and care homes, Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology is suitable for almost any setting where fast disinfection is required. This is one of the reasons there has been so much interest from customers in public transport, cruise ships, prisons, and elsewhere this year.
The device is available on a monthly lease/rental finance plan. This spreads the cost of ownership over a fixed number of affordable monthly payments and does not require a capital expenditure decision. Customers can, of course, also purchase the equipment outright. We will be happy to provide more information or arrange a demonstration.

Washing Your Hands To Protect Lives

If we ever needed a reminder of the importance of hand hygiene there is no doubt we have received one this year. Covid-19 is a chilling example of how a new and deadly virus can emerge at any time. We know that personal contact and touching contaminated surfaces – and then touching our own eyes, nose or mouth – are two of the main ways the virus can spread. Washing your hands helps to break this chain of infection and is something we can all do.

On Thursday 15 October we are supporting Global Handwashing Day. This global advocacy day is organised by the Global Handwashing Partnership. It is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of washing your hands with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives.

Global Handwashing Day highlights how hand hygiene can stop the spread of infection and protect lives
Hand hygiene has never been more important

The theme of this year’s event is “Hand Hygiene for All.” This follows and aligns with recent global initiatives by the WHO and UNESCO calling on all of society to scale up hand hygiene, especially through handwashing with soap. It reminds us that we must work toward universal access and practice of handwashing with soap for now and for a healthy future.

HOW Hand hygiene impacts health and COVID-19

We have understood the link between hand hygiene and the spread of infections for generations. That is why we are all taught when we are children to wash our hands regularly, such as before eating and after going to the toilet. Medical and scientific advances mean we now know much more about how washing your hands can help prevent the spread of infections:

  • regular handwashing with soap can reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection by 36%, based on one study
  • handwashing can reduce acute respiratory infections by 20%
  • handwashing can reduce the transmission of outbreak-related pathogens such as cholera, Ebola, shigellosis, SARS and hepatitis E
  • hand hygiene is protective against healthcare-associated infections and reduces the spread of antimicrobial resistance
  • handwashing can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30% – 48%
  • hand hygiene may contribute to the reduction of Neglected Tropical Diseases

DIVERSEY SUPPORTING GLOBAL HAND HYGIENE DAY

At Diversey, we are actively promoting Global Handwashing Day through our social media channels and direct contact with customers. We have also helped raise awareness by producing special posters and other media to share. In addition, we offer a complete range of hand hygiene products.

The first Global Handwashing Day took place in 2008, when over 120 million children around the world washed their hands with soap in more than 70 countries. Since then, community and national leaders have used Global Handwashing Day to spread the word about handwashing, build sinks and tippy taps, and demonstrate the simplicity and value of clean hands. The event has continued to grow. It is is now endorsed by governments, schools, international institutions, civil society organizations, NGOs, private companies, individuals, and more.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how hygiene must become everybody’s business because of its critical role in preventing the spread of infection. As part of our duty as a leading cleaning and hygiene company, we continue using all of the opportunities at our hands to provide our communities with tools and resources that outline the best procedures and products to use for effective personal hygiene.

Diversey: Campaigning for Infection Prevention During October 2020

Infection prevention has never been more important. During October, Diversey is proudly supporting three international campaigns that highlight the significance of cleaning and hygiene in the fight against all types of infection:

October 10: Clean Hospitals Day

October 15: Global Handwashing Day

October 18-24: International Infection Prevention Week

Help Diversey Celebrate First Clean Hospitals Day

On Saturday 10 October we celebrate the first Clean Hospitals Day. This is an event organised by Clean Hospitals, a global healthcare environmental hygiene network. Diversey is a proud active member alongside a coalition of international stakeholders, academia, governmental bodies, NGOs, hospitals and industry experts. As active members, we work closely together to promote and support healthcare environmental hygiene through training, specialised working groups and committees, aiming to create awareness, look at research, innovations, new methods and support education to eventually make healthcare facilities safer through improved environmental hygiene.

Supporting the first Clean Hospitals Day

Diversey has been working with Clean Hospitals and all its partners to launch this first edition of Clean Hospitals Day, which has two main objectives:

  • To call on hospital management, decision-makers, and stakeholders to champion environmental hygiene, and to take action to make hospitals cleaner and safer.
  • Recognise key healthcare workers and give them the appreciation they deserve as their work is very important and often goes unnoticed and undervalued.

By raising awareness of the importance of cleaning, disinfection, and hygiene standards in the healthcare environment, we will all be contributing towards making healthcare facilities a cleaner and safer place. Help us spread the message and recognise the important work carried out by key healthcare workers!

Clean Hospitals: a win-win for all parties involved in healthcare environmental hygiene

Clean Hospitals provides a unique blend of experience and expertise around environmental hygiene coming from multiple stakeholders across regions. That enables this young platform to continuously seek the highest standards of environmental hygiene in a consistent and globally coordinated manner.

According to Victor Cegarra, Diversey’s CoE IP & Healthcare, Global Marketing Director: “Clean Hospitals represents a formidable platform for Diversey to join the dots about environmental hygiene, and ultimately help us make hospitals and patients safer. In Clean Hospitals, we have a venue to share and discuss current and future topics of concern with stakeholders and leading experts from around the world.”

The range of topics explored is very diverse but important for the evolution of environmental hygiene. Issues like fighting against antimicrobial resistance, fake news, or multiple safety concerns are being addressed.

At Diversey, we provide evidence-based solutions to reduce infections and improve outcomes for a healthier world. We partly do that with a broad selection of products to clean and disinfect surfaces effectively and responsibly for staff and end-users in many different markets.

According to Claire Khosravi, Diversey’s European Senior Microbiologist & IP Technical Lead: “Diversey has a global footprint as a key representative in the infection prevention world and is therefore useful for Clean Hospitals. Diversey and Clean Hospitals share the same goals to increase productivity and patient safety to ultimately create safer and more satisfying environments of care.”

Part of Diversey’s focus on improving infection prevention practices in healthcare globally

Preventing infection, especially in healthcare facilities, hands, and surfaces are two sides of the same coin of environmental hygiene.

According to Peter Teska, Diversey’s CoE IP & Healthcare, Global IP Application Expert: “Working on one at the expense of the other is self-defeating. In the same way, Diversey promotes effective hand hygiene through our participation in POPS (Private Organizations for Patient Safety), we also support Clean Hospitals to focus on environmental disinfection. Clean hands that touch dirty surfaces negates the value of hand hygiene. Touching clean surfaces with dirty hands negates the value of surface hygiene. Both must be promoted together to properly protect patients.”

In the last decade, a significant amount of clinical evidence has been amassed showing the role the environment plays in certain healthcare-associated infections. Clean Hospitals is an ideal organisation to help healthcare facilities operationalise this knowledge, working to improve cleaning practices and identifying areas of risk within the facility.

According to Jolanta Stasiewicz, Diversey’s European Healthcare Marketing Leader: “the COVID-19 pandemic has already changed global healthcare systems on many levels and we are entering a new era of patient care where preventing infection will play an even more important role. Creation of safe and hygienic environments is a mandatory action for healthcare stakeholders, but also a day-to-day challenge. And that is where Diversey, as part of Clean Hospitals, is committed to help. With more than 95 years of history and more than 50 years actively working with healthcare facilities, the Diversey team supporting this initiative is very excited to be part of it and committed to help healthcare facilities management get access to best in class and up to date guidelines, share and drive research, innovations, and training.”

Diversey: Campaigning for Infection Prevention During October 2020

Infection prevention has never been more important. During October, Diversey is proudly supporting three international campaigns that highlight the significance of cleaning and hygiene in the fight against all types of infection:

October 10: Clean Hospitals Day

October 15: Global Handwashing Day

October 18-24: International Infection Prevention Week

Fabrics should be washed regularly to prevent the spread of Coronavirus

In the 50 page roadmap recently published by the Government outlining the plan to Covid-19 recovery, it is highlighted that ‘Clothes should be washed regularly to prevent the spread of Coronavirus’. So, with the hospitality market set to reopen in a matter of months now is the time to get your business ready for a safe reopening. According to the report, scientists have seen evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics for a number of days.

We have seen a big push on santising surfaces. However, we know that within the hospitality sector fabric is one of the biggest customer touch-points. This means there are more factors to consider when washing fabrics.

Hospitality inset

Problem Solving

Using an antibacterial washing powder such as Persil Hygiene to wash clothes, bedding and towels is the surest way of stopping the spread of viruses. This also creates a safer environment for your business and your customers.

Pro Formula Persil Hygiene has been extensively tested and is effective against harmful bacteria strains including MRSA. Persil Hygiene disinfects at temperatures as low as 40 degrees whilst maintaining excellent performance against a wide range of stains and types of soil.

Pro Formula Persil Hygiene kills 99.999% of bacteria and viruses. The industry standard for bacteria kill is 99.999%. Did you know that retail variants are only 99.9%?

It is even so more important now that businesses adapt a professional approach to cleaning products and methods.  

Professional Results from Trusted Brands

Persil Hygiene is part of Diversey’s ProFormula range. This set of easy-to-use cleaning products helps smaller and independent businesses to complete routine and common problem-solving tasks quicklywith excellent results. Pro Formula products combine professional formulations from Diversey with trusted brands from Unilever including Cif, Persil, Comfort and Domestos.

For more product information and support visit; https://www.proformula.com/uk/

Read the full Government document here; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

Making Light Work of Infection Prevention

Moonbeam3TM Disinfection Technology© delivers powerful UV-C light to provide fast broad area disinfection of high-touch surfaces in hospitals and care homes in as little as three minutes when used in conjunction with normal daily cleaning and disinfection processes. This is much faster than fogging and almost twice as effective as traditional cleaning and disinfection alone in destroying the pathogens that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Powerful UV-C light provides fast broad area disinfection of high-touch surfaces in hospitals and care homes.

UV-C penetrates and destroys the DNA in the cells of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and spores which stops them multiplying and causing infections. This means Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology offers facilities a completely hands, chemical and fume-free way to complement existing processes with safer high-performance disinfection. The device is ideal for surfaces accidentally missed during regular cleaning and for frequently-touched, hard-to-clean surfaces and intricate equipment. It can be used in patient rooms, operating theatres and bathrooms and on patient care equipment, keyboards, monitors, and workstations.

UV-C light emitted by Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology can disinfect surfaces across a broad area.

Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology is quick and easy to use with push-button activation and short operating cycles. Its three articulating, light-producing arms can be positioned independently to target light efficiently and closely onto surfaces to be disinfected. This unique design allows it to be used in more places while its high-efficiency dosing increases speed which reduces labour and operating costs. Periodic maintenance is limited to bulb replacement, with no tools required.

The arms on the Moonbeam3 Disinfection Technology device can be positioned to ensure maximum UV-C performance.

Diversey Returns To Cleaning Show

Diversey returns to the Cleaning Show (Stand C37) for the first time in over a decade to discuss with customers how its innovations and full solutions capabilities offer cleaning teams new ways of working that are more effective, affordable and sustainable.

Internet of Clean: our innovative platform offers new ways to support interactive remote monitoring of laundry equipment, floor care machines and dishwashers. It also enables expert advice to be provided direct to end users on a range of devices to enhance their understanding and productivity, with new improved analytics. Remote guidance feature offers an innovative way to manage breakdowns and issues quickly, remotely and with minimum fuss.

Healthcare Infection Prevention: recent innovations include additions to the Oxivir range of broad-spectrum disinfectants, cleaner-disinfectants and related products for superior, simpler and faster surface disinfection. These are tested to relevant EN standards and effective against bacteria, viruses and yeasts in demanding environments such as hospitals and care homes. Diversey has recently introduced fast and powerful UV-C capabilities into its infection prevention portfolio. New Moonbeam3TM Disinfection Technology© for rooms and equipment provides adjunct disinfection against a wide range of pathogens on frequently-touched, hard-to-clean surfaces which complements and enhances existing cleaning and hygiene processes.

TASKI Machine Innovations: update to Diversey’s next-generation, hands-free TASKI SWINGOBOT 2000 robotic scrubber drier, which works on its own to enhance floor cleaning productivity and frees operatives to focus on additional value-added and profit-generating tasks. The company’s latest TASKI aero tub and backpack vacuum cleaners are among the quietest and most energy-efficient commercial machines on the market.

TASKI Tool Innovations: new enclosed trolley and tools including the innovative diamond-impregnated Twister by Diversey pads.

As part of our commitment to the event we are supporting the Cleaning Show’s VIP lounge.

We also plan to host our own special event during the exhibition to promote opportunities for networking between customers, industry experts and thought leaders.

Preventing Infections With Innovations

The fight against healthcare associated infections (HAIs) covers many areas but foremost among these are hand hygiene and surface disinfection. Studies suggest around 80 per cent of all infectious diseases are spread by touch[i]. This can be through personal contact or touching a contaminated surface. It follows that breaking this chain should help reduce the number of infections.

Healthcare cleaning teams now have access to a wider range of products to help them eliminate the pathogens that cause HAIs. These include innovative disinfectant formulations that are more effective, quicker and safer than traditional disinfectants complemented by advanced adjunct technologies such as UV-C light that can give the added level of protection against pathogens of concern.

Hand Hygiene

The link between hand hygiene and the spread of infections was established long ago. Yet there is still much to be done to change the behaviour of individual healthcare workers to optimise compliance with hand hygiene at the recommended points to improve patient safety. The best healthcare sites globally have reduced their infection rates to around five per cent through diligence and a rigorous application of best practice. In the UK the average infection rate is nearer to ten per cent.

The World Health Organisation promotes hand hygiene through a number of high-profile initiatives. Its annual Clean Your Hands Day, for example, was established in 2005 and has been a global success. This and related WHO programmes are based around the concept of a multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy. This incorporates five components or building blocks including system change, training, evaluation, awareness and an institutional safety climate that lead to long-term and sustainable improvements. This framework is complemented by the WHO’s focus on the five moments of hand hygiene – the critical times when healthcare professionals should wash their hands: before touching a patient; before a procedure; after body fluid exposure; after touching a patient; after touching patient surroundings.

These recommendations can mean a lot of washing during a normal day. This is not only time-consuming but conventional soaps can strip natural oils which protect the skin, leading to an increased risk of damage through conditions such as dermatitis. Under these circumstances it is sensible to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that kills pathogens faster than soap without removing protective oils.

Whatever products are chosen, they must be available and ready to use whenever required. Dispensers should be situated conveniently to encourage regular and proper use. At the same time, they should ideally contain enough product to prolong the interval between refills and therefore minimise the risk of outages and reduce necessary restocking burdens.

Another way to encourage compliance is to monitor usage. While it is rarely desirable to monitor individuals, it is helpful to know how often a particular dispenser has been used and how much product has been consumed. Knowing how many times a dispenser has been used and comparing this with the number of patient contacts by the clinical and nursing team should give a reasonable indication of whether they are complying with agreed standards. If not, additional awareness and training can be provided and the subsequent change in usage patterns assessed.

Surface Disinfection

Surface disinfection is another critical aspect of infection prevention. It is vital to choose the right disinfectants to improve environmental hygiene in healthcare settings. However, not all disinfectants are created equally.

Healthcare cleaning professionals have traditionally chosen disinfectants with chlorine as the active ingredient (usually as bleaches) for cleaning hard surfaces.

While widely used, the drawbacks of these formulations are well noted in terms of effectiveness as well as safety and there seems to be a gradual shift towards safer, quicker and more effective disinfectants. Alternative formulations with Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) as the active ingredient offer numerous advantages with few limitations.[ii]

The key requirement from any disinfectant in healthcare settings is efficacy – to prevent the introduction of potentially harmful pathogens and infections. These can range from hospital associated infections such as MRSA and C. diff to infections common in any setting, such as influenza and Norovirus. Effective surface disinfection is especially important in healthcare because patients are likely to be frail and vulnerable.

It is important to select disinfectants capable of killing pathogens of concern. Problem pathogens, such as norovirus and C. diff., might not be killed by conventional disinfectants. Contact times must be realistically short so that any pathogens are killed before the surface dries. Disinfectants with long contact times may require reapplication to ensure pathogens are killed. This can be impractical, time-consuming and inefficient.

Disinfectants containing AHP are highly effective against a wide range of viruses, spores, yeasts, and fungi found in healthcare, including C. diff, MRSA, Norovirus, E. coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This broad-spectrum efficacy has been tested to the latest EN standards and submitted into the Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR) – a standard which all actives and disinfectants need to pass. AHP simplifies processes because just one product is needed – using numerous alternative products to provide the same level of performance adds unwanted complexity.

Disinfectants with AHP can be supplied in ready-to-use and ultra-concentrate formats. Depending on the specific formulation, these are effective against viruses, spores (including C. diff), yeasts and fungi in one minute or less, meeting demand for highly effective products with shorter contact or dwell times.

Traditional products containing chlorine are generally not as effective on spores and require significantly longer contact times. Products containing AHP have been tested and shown to kill viruses such as Norovirus in up to 30 seconds and the most persistent spores such as C. diff in one minute. Chlorine-based products can take up to 30 minutes. Aside from any productivity issues, they are only effective while wet which means efficacy will be lost if they dry within the specified contact time. Under normal conditions the much shorter contact times of AHP products are usually passed before they have dried.

Products containing AHP offer additional benefits that simplify day-to-day cleaning operations. With more cleaning taking place while patients are present, processes must be completed safely and efficiently, so as not to create an unpleasant environment or put patients at risk.

AHP degrades to oxygen and water alone shortly after use which helps make formulations containing it safer to use. Chlorine-based products are suspected of aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems, and forming chlorine compounds in the atmosphere. Another consideration is that some products containing AHP have no safety classification whereas chlorine-based products usually carry a hazard symbol.

Breaking down to water and oxygen alone means products with AHP leave little or no residue on surfaces, helping to promote the appearance of the area being cleaned. They can be used safely on a wider range of surfaces, including wool and other fabrics, with reduced risk of damage. Chlorine based products on the other hand will corrode or degrade many surfaces with regular or prolonged use. Nor can they be used as part of a microfibre system because they damage the material, severely restricting their disinfection potency.

The easier a product is to use, the greater the chance of cleaning compliance. Products should be accompanied by training aids to support members of diverse cleaning teams. Despite proper training, there are still cleaning and disinfection challenges that may arise. It is therefore important to measure performance to determine if additional training is necessary.

The variety of disinfectants has grown in recent years, as manufacturers have developed solutions for specific daily and problem-solving tasks. It is therefore important to match the product to the specific application. This optimises cleaning performance and reduces inefficiencies, poor results, and the need for repeat cleaning. Reputable manufacturers will provide advice on the most suitable products from their ranges to use in every situation. They should also be able to supply the documentation and evidence with independent test data to support product claims.

UV-C

While disinfectants offer healthcare cleaning professionals effective solutions in many situations there are times when additional measures are necessary or desirable. The latest technology to emerge uses powerful UV-C light to disinfect surfaces quickly and effectively[iii]. This represents a new hands-, chemical- and fume-free way to implement safer disinfection. It is particularly useful for so-called adjunct cleaning which is employed to complement or supplement existing processes and provide additional assurance that frequent-touch and hard-to-clean surfaces have been disinfected. Dr Deverick Anderson published a paper in 2017 that found using UV-C alongside traditional disinfectants reduced HAIs by 33%.[iv]

The infection-killing properties of UV-C have been known for some years and there are at least 40 scientific studies measuring either its biocidal effect on micro-organisms or the impact on HAI rates. UV-C kills pathogens by destroying the nucleic acids in their DNA. This disrupts the normal function of the cells which means they die. Any surface directly exposed to a sufficient amount of UV-C will be disinfected. One of the biggest advantages of UV-C disinfection is that large areas can be decontaminated very quickly without any additional intervention. Because UV-C disinfection is physical rather than chemical it means that there is much less chance of pathogens developing any form of resistance.

Despite these advantages, no cost-effective practical UV-C systems were available until recently for routine use in healthcare settings[v]. Now the devices used in hospitals produce powerful UV-C light at the optimum wavelengths to provide fast broad-spectrum disinfection. These devices tend to fall into two categories: for broad area and high-touch surface disinfection and disinfection of smaller, portable devices.

Systems designed for disinfection of broad areas and high-touch surfaces can be effective in as little as three minutes. This is more than twice as fast as fogging and almost twice as effective as traditional cleaning and disinfection alone in destroying the pathogens that cause healthcare associated infections. They are an excellent option for on-demand disinfection of high-touch surfaces throughout a hospital, including patient rooms, operating rooms and bathrooms. Such systems can also be used on patient care equipment, fixtures, keyboards, monitors, and workstations.

UV-C is at its most powerful when it hits a surface perpendicularly – at right angles – such as directly from overhead or square on to wall. Any deviation from this angle of incidence will diminish the power. In practice this means that at an angle of incidence of 45 degrees, the surface will only receive around 75% of the energy. At angles between 20 and 30 degrees the energy levels are reduced by around 60%.

Like all electromagnetic radiation, the power of UV-C also diminishes rapidly the further away a target surface is from the source because of the inverse square law. This means that the energy reduces fourfold (ie 2×2 or 2 squared) with each doubling of distance. Alternatively, the intensity at 2m from a light source is just 25% of the level at 1m. Using the same calculations shows that the amount of energy reaching a surface just over three metres (10 feet) from the source is one per cent or the original.

Systems delivering UV-C must therefore ensure the maximum amount hits the target surface to give the most powerful disinfection. One way to achieve this is to mount the UV-C sources on arms that can be positioned independently and pointed towards and set as close as possible to the target surfaces. This ensures more of the UV-C produced will hit the surface at right angles and at the minimum distance to give the best disinfection. When the light sources are mounted on a single, central column that is not easily repositioned, less of the UV-C produced falls on target surfaces perpendicularly and from further away. Either way this means the device will be less efficient.

UV-C systems for portable devices are designed to disinfect items such as tablets and smartphones. These are becoming more widely used in healthcare settings but they are often used by different members of the nursing or clinical team throughout the day. This means that they are not only frequent- or high-touch surfaces but they can also present increased opportunities for pathogens to pass from person to person. There is some evidence that people do not wash their hands after using these devices, or indeed clean the device itself.

As with any routine process, the use of these disinfection systems should be simple and quick to encourage their use. Items to be treated are placed in a secure box which contains the UV-C light sources, safely shrouded from the outside world. This means that they are always close to the items being disinfected for maximum effectiveness. Because items being treated are always close to the UV-C source these units provide extremely effective disinfection. Items can usually be disinfected in around 30 seconds.

Independent tests have shown that there can be an up to 5-log reduction in surface pathogens including MRSA, VRE, MDR-Gram negative, Norovirus and C.diff spores. This means that the number of micro-organisms is reduced by 105 times or by a factor of 100,000.

The power of UV-C to damage DNA and cells means that people would be affected too if they were exposed. Devices are supplied with fail-safe features such as remote control that prevent close-up activation and motion sensors that shut the unit down if anyone should approach too closely.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have a wider range of infection prevention tools at their disposal than ever before. The choice available means that there is greater flexibility to specify the right combination to meet infection prevention compliance and reduction targets in the quickest, simplest and most effective way that integrates with the facility’s other processes. The choices can be complex but leading cleaning and hygiene suppliers with experience in healthcare will be able to work with clinical, nursing and housekeeping teams to devise and implement robust infection prevention policies.

[i] Centre for Disease Control & Prevention

[ii] Teska, Peter & Rushworth, A & Theelen, M & Jongsma, J. (2013). O018: Evaluation of the efficacy of a novel hydrogen peroxide cleaner disinfectant concentrate. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. 2. 10.1186/2047-2994-2-S1-O18.

[iii] https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGl2ZXJzZXkuY29tfHVraS1tYXJrZXRpbmctZ29vZ2xlLXNpdGV8Z3g6MWViNjI0ZWVlZWFlOGEzNw

[iv] https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31588-4/fulltext

[v] https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGl2ZXJzZXkuY29tfHVraS1tYXJrZXRpbmctZ29vZ2xlLXNpdGV8Z3g6NDA5N2VhYmY5OTM1NTU1NA

Safe & Effective Ongoing Infection Prevention for Care Homes

Protecting residents in care homes from infections is an all-year-round priority but there are additional challenges during winter when there are usually peaks in serious illnesses such as Influenza and Norovirus. These can be life-threatening to residents, many of whom are likely to be frail and vulnerable. Because of this seasonal link, we’re focusing on care homes in our annual “Are You Ready?” campaign.

Infection prevention relies on rigorous hand hygiene and surface disinfection. This helps to break the chain of infection because most illnesses are caused by personal contact or touching a contaminated surface.

Effective surface disinfection is critical. Well-run homes will have a daily cleaning regime that focuses on the areas used by residents and staff to maintain a clean and hygienic environment. The latest thinking by authorities such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is that additional attention should be paid to frequent-touch surfaces. In care homes, these might include light switches, door handles, table-tops, bed rails, remote controls and similar devices, telephones and touch-screens. Additional hand-hygiene frequency among staff is also recommended – such as when moving from task to task or resident to resident – to achieve the highest levels of protection.

Many care homes use traditional cleaners and disinfectants containing chlorine or “quats” as their active ingredient. Used correctly these will be effective at removing the common pathogens and microbes that cause illnesses but they can be complicated to use in care homes. Separate products may be required for the cleaning and the disinfection (and to eliminate different types of pathogen) and not all can be used easily on the variety of surfaces likely to be found in the care home.

Products containing chlorine are also suspected of aggravating asthma and other respiratory problems and forming chlorine compounds in the atmosphere. This can create an unpleasant environment for residents at best but for the frail, it can aggravate underlying health conditions and lead to additional suffering.

Given the ongoing requirement for cleaning and disinfection, there are good reasons for using a single combined product for both tasks. This way, disinfection automatically takes place whenever any cleaning task is undertaken. It becomes an ongoing process that is completely embedded within the care home’s daily routine. That can raise standards and compliance rates with a resultant reduction in infections.

In the past, it was difficult to find a single cleaner-disinfectant formulation that simplified processes, saved time and improved productivity without compromising on any infection prevention capability. This changed when Diversey introduced its Oxivir range of products containing innovative Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) as the active ingredient.

AHP is a patented blend of commonly used, safe ingredients that when combined with low levels of hydrogen peroxide dramatically increase its germicidal potency and cleaning performance. Tested to the latest EN standards, disinfectants containing AHP are highly effective against a wide range of viruses including Influenza and Norovirus as well as spores, yeasts, and fungi. This ability to kill many different types of pathogens is known as “broad-spectrum capability”.

Products containing AHP offer an effective alternative to formulations with chlorine compounds as the active ingredient. They do not contain respiratory irritants. The AHP degrades to oxygen and water alone shortly after use which helps make formulations containing it safer to use on a wider range of surfaces, including fabrics and washroom surfaces. Many AHP-based formulations have no safety classification which means they can be used in a wider range of settings, including care homes, with fewer restrictions. Chlorine-based products, on the other hand, usually carry a hazard symbol.

Products in the Oxivir range include:

Oxivir Excel: a fast-acting cleaner-disinfectant that can replace general surface cleaning products for routine tasks and provide affordable ongoing infection protection. It is effective against viruses such as Influenza and Norovirus in just 30 seconds. It is available as a convenient, ready-to-use, spray or in five-litre containers for simple dilution.

Oxivir Excel Wipes: disposable ready-to-use wipes, convenient for on-the-spot use. These are also ideal for giving portable or high touch items such as remote controls a quick clean.

Oxivir Spill Kit: a ready-to-use kit with everything needed to contain and remove body spillages quickly and easily. Each kit contains a 750ml Oxivir Excel spray, absorbent granules, scoops, bags and all the personal protection equipment (PPE) needed to deal with spillages.

Diversey’s Oxivir range offers care homes the opportunity to replace conventional infection prevention products with safer and more effective alternatives. Our annual “Are You Ready?” campaign aims to provide useful information about how to protect yourself and others from seasonal illnesses such as Norovirus and Influenza.