Acute-Care Facility Cuts Infection Rates With Disposable Microfiber Mops
Contributed by Contec, Inc.
The team at a South Florida acute-care facility was struggling to reduce healthcare-associated infection (HAI) rates and was experiencing operational challenges tied to efficient room turnover time. After reviewing their tedious in-house laundry system and processes, the team determined it would switch to single-use microfiber floor pads to help cut infection rates and improve cleaning efficiencies.
Recent findings in a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control further validated this decision. In the study, 41 percent of hospital rooms had high-touch objects (both personal items and medical devices) in contact with the floor. Floors are a rich source of contamination due to procedures, mobile medical equipment and daily foot traffic from employees, patients and visitors. Floor-to-patient transmission of pathogens can happen in an instant.
Unfortunately, laundered microfiber mops and wipes have been determined to add to — rather than reduce — this risk. In fact, ATP tests show that laundered microfiber mops and wipes don’t clean as well as new ones. They are engineered to grab and remove bioburden from hospital floors or surfaces effectively; however, that same technology keeps them from letting go of it, even in the best of laundering processes.
To that end, each time microfiber mops and wipes are reused, facilities run the risk of redepositing dangerous pathogens back into patient critical areas, exposing them to infection. In addition, the built-up residues neutralize disinfectants, rendering them ineffective in eliminating the pathogens that endanger vulnerable patients.
By moving to Contec’s Premira single-use microfiber mops and wipes, the facility reduced the risk of cross-contamination and infection risk to patients left behind by laundered mops and wipes. Trapped bioburden and pathogens went into the trash, not into the laundry where they would become embedded in and spread by reusable microfiber. Moreover, because there was no built-up bioburden to render chemicals ineffective, the facility’s disinfectants retained the power they needed to destroy dangerous pathogens.
Operationally, the facility reported that eliminating the laundering cycle, and the time needed to produce an effective clean with reusable mops and wipes, improved room turnover time. Staff also reported feeling more confident about patient safety. Over time, the facility also realized decreased HAI rates.
Cleaning managers at the facility summed the experience up by saying, “infection rates, room turnover time, and burnishing rates are all notably down since the transition.”
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