Survey Reviews Cleanliness Of Mops And Cloths Used In Hospitals
A recent survey conducted by Contec, Inc. at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Conference (APIC), found that a majority of infection control practitioners (ICPs) do not trust their hospital's laundering system. Specifically, ICPs question whether laundering cleaning mops and cloths leaves them risk-free.
Of those surveyed, 72 percent would not wipe their mug or drinking glass with a freshly laundered hospital mopping pad or wipe. In fact, 42 percent have noted trash, debris or hair in the freshly cleaned textiles.
According to the survey, lack of awareness among hospital management may be contributing to this risk. Sixty-two percent of ICPs said they have not seen their hospital senior leadership conduct a visual audit of their facility's laundry process from start to finish, nor have they seen personnel test the compatibility of their disinfectant and laundered microfiber (60 percent).
More than half of respondents (54 percent) are not familiar with, or are unsure of, the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council and their standards for laundry inspection and "load" processes.
Research by Contec presented at the conference and published in the American Journal of Infection Control, "Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops Used to Clean Healthcare Environmental Surfaces," reveals 50 percent of laundered mops and wipes still contain unsterile, living bacteria levels that exceed national standards.
Microscopic images of microfiber flat mops were scanned before and after laundering. Dirt and debris was discovered entrapped in laundered microfibers. Moreover, residual dirt in laundered mops has been shown to neutralize disinfectants, and laundry processes of mops and wipes can diminish quality, enabling cross-contamination.
By contrast, Contec reports indicate that disposable microfiber cleaning products offer a superior clean, optimize the power of disinfectants and eliminate the risk of cross-contamination posed by relaundered products.
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