Eliminating Pathogens in Healthcare Settings
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Timely insights on whole room disinfection.

HealthcareMarch 31, 2021

Eliminating Pathogens in Healthcare Settings

Top Takeaways from Halosil’s Presentation at Healthcare Purchasing News’ Virtual Forum

On March 16, 2021, Healthcare Purchasing News hosted a virtual forum, “Disinfecting Your Facility: Tools of the Trade” that gathered industry leaders in disinfection and pathogen elimination to discuss the latest information and innovations in surface cleaning and disinfection.

Halosil had the pleasure of being included as one of the key presenters during the virtual event. During our session, David St. Clair, Executive Chairman at Halosil, covered ways in which Environmental Services (EVS) and Infection Prevention (IP) professionals can evaluate the efficacy, flexibility, and usability of different disinfectants and delivery methods against deadly and emerging pathogens. David was joined during the presentation by Debra Runyan, former Director of Infection Prevention at Pennsylvania Hospital, who discussed her personal experience combating hospital-acquired C. diff with a whole room disinfection solution.

For those that couldn’t attend the virtual forum, here are a few of the top takeaways from Halosil’s session:

Takeaway 1: The emergence of COVID-19 has led to an increased emphasis on disinfection—even in healthcare.

By its very nature, the healthcare industry is at the forefront of sanitizing and disinfection efforts. Historically, a focus on sanitizing /disinfection was driven by the desire to decrease the rate of common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs): one in every 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI. While a desire to minimize HAIs like C. diff, MRSA, and norovirus is still a driving factor for disinfection efforts, today the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged many in the healthcare field to re-evaluate best practices for preventing the spread of viruses. With reports showing that, on average, one person died from COVID-19 in the U.S. every minute in 2020, the importance of infection prevention has never been more clear.

Takeaway 2: True whole room disinfection is crucial for eliminating pathogens on ALL exposed surfaces.

When evaluating disinfection strategies, healthcare facilities are increasingly turning to whole room disinfection. But what is whole room disinfection?

Whole room disinfection is a disinfection technologies’ ability to truly disinfect ALL exposed surfaces, including nooks and crannies, in an often-complicated space. While there are many application methods for disinfectants, few can achieve true whole room disinfection. Four commonly utilized disinfectant delivery methods are:

  • Spray and wipe – Although spray and wipe methods are easy to execute and can be done with other people around, the need for surfaces to remain thoroughly wet for the disinfectant’s full contact time and the risk of human error often leads to a bio-load reduction of under 50% in most rooms. As such, spray and wipe is not true whole room disinfection.
  • Electrostatic sprayers – Electrostatic sprayers have recently grown in popularity as a replacement for old spray bottles—particularly in non-healthcare settings like schools and transit systems. Though they offer improvements in dispensing and efficiency, sprayers still depend on wetting all surfaces, with overspray potentially harming electronics and creating material compatibility issues. Electrostatic sprayers are not true whole room disinfection.
  • UV light – Recently many healthcare institutions have purchased expensive UV light systems. Yet, UV light cannot reach pathogens in shadowed areas and achieves a lower kill rate (less than 3-log) than chemical disinfectants (4-log or greater). UV light is not true whole room disinfection.
  • Dry fog – While dry fog often has a longer required contact time than wet delivery, it can uniformly disinfect all hard, non-porous surfaces in an environment without leaving behind a residue or damaging sensitive equipment. Dry fog offers true whole room disinfection.

Takeaway 3: Pennsylvania Hospital saw a reduction in C. diff cases since utilizing the Halo Disinfection System.

In July 2011, Pennsylvania Hospital noticed an uptick in cases of C. diff after installing bedside computer terminals. The team suspected that ineffective disinfection of the terminals was to blame, so they decided to implement the Halo Disinfection System®—a whole room disinfection system that pairs HaloMist™ disinfectant with the HaloFogger® dry fog system—and monitor results of C. difficile infections (CDI). The team reported the following results over the next decade:

  • Before Halo Disinfection System Implementation: A CDI rate of 4.6 per 10,000 patients
  • During Halo Disinfection System Implementation: A CDI rate of 2.7 per 10,000 patients
  • After Halo Disinfection System Implementation: A CDI rate of 1.4 per 10,000 patients

Pennsylvania Hospital continues to rely on the Halo Disinfection System today to fog patient care units, emergency rooms, operating rooms, and more areas in the hospital.

Learn More about the Efficacy, Flexibility & Usability of Different Disinfectants & Delivery Methods

Interested in learning more about eliminating pathogens in healthcare settings? Access the on-demand webinar to listen to the full recording and hear firsthand from the Halosil team how utilizing different disinfectants and application methods can be used to eliminate deadly and emerging pathogens.