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Effective Disinfection of Clostridium difficile Contaminant

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Friday, October 5, 2018

While appropriate testing for the Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI) contaminant is a critical component of hospital-acquired CDI (HACDI) identification, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (SRMH) and Petaluma Valley Hospital (PVH) have established a best practice on the proper cleaning and disinfection of the patient room. Prior to disinfecting the room with oxide, the environmental services (EVS) supervisor will apply a clear marker to the 17 high-touch surfaces. The mark is removed with friction during the cleaning of the surface. Once the room is cleaned, the supervisor returns to assess for removal of the clear marks with a black light. If the mark is still present, it is considered a failure and the feedback is shared immediately with the respective team members.

The audits are done randomly at the rate of 50–60 per month at SRMH. A hand-held tablet is used to track the results in real time. The results of the audits are posted and EVS staff members receive a report monthly noting their performance. The compliance goal is 95 percent or higher. If a staff member has less than 95 percent compliance they are retrained concurrently and immediately.  

This best practice was rolled out in the Emergency Department (ED) with slight modifications based on the culture. With the frequent patient turnover in the ED the patient care technicians and clinicians are responsible for proper cleaning and disinfection between patients. The EVS supervisor does the marking, assessment, and shares the result with the ED supervisor who gives feedback to the respective staff member. Overall, this cleaning practice has led to decrease of HACDI.

For more information, please contact Russ Seymour, Area Director Environmental Services, at Russell.seymour@stjoe.org; or Mary Reilly, BSN, RN, CIC, Infection Prevention Manager, at Mary.Reilly@stjoe.org.