Top 11 Infection Prevention Trends for 2011
The top 11 infection prevention trends for 2011 were identified to equip Infection Preventionists and Environmental Service Directors with the information necessary to prepare their facilities for potential vulnerabilities to their infection prevention programs in the coming year.
"From new governmental regulations to emerging viruses and bugs, infection control programs will face new challenges in 2011," said Brent Schafer, vice president of healthcare at Cintas, sponsor of Infection Prevention for Dummies. "More than ever, healthcare facilities need to ensure they have the right resources in place to remain prepared in this evolving landscape."
The top 11 trends in infection prevention for 2011 include:
1. Increased availability of new disinfectants. The U.S. EPA is anticipated to approve new or existing disinfectants with a kill claim for C-difficile in the next year. This will create further demand for improved disinfectant tools and technology.
2. Broader acceptance of disinfectant wipes. Non-sodium hypochlorite disinfectant wipes will gain a bigger share of the market due to convenience and efficacy against a wide spectrum of microorganisms.
3. Increased communication and education regarding emerging threats. Manufacturers will take a more active role in educating the public about threats associated with micro-resistant organisms. This will help allay fears and hysteria associated with "superbugs."
4. Microfiber will continue to penetrate the market. Microfiber will gain a larger market share due to broader general acceptance. Outsourced microfiber programs will also generate increased attention in an effort to limit overhead costs and ensure proper laundering protocol is followed.
5. The threat of worldwide pandemics and flu-like viruses will persist. Viruses such as NDM-1 will continue to cause potential scares requiring facilities, manufacturers and frontline healthcare personnel to stay prepared in the event of a potential outbreak.
6. New policies regarding patient curtain will emerge. Policies regarding changing cubicle or privacy curtains following isolation contact will gain momentum, forcing the development of disposable curtains or quick-change solutions requiring minimal labor and/or expertise.
7. Greater attention will develop toward the disinfection practices for patient use items. Mandates driven by the Joint Commission will generate a greater awareness for practices used to clean patient items such as wheelchairs, stretchers, IV poles and other mobile objects. Infection preventionists and environmental service directors should be prepared for questions relating to who is responsible for cleaning these items, what is being used to clean or disinfect the surfaces and the time allocated for cleaning to occur.
8. Increased budget cuts. New federal regulations will likely result in further budget deficits and cuts. This will have a potential impact on hospital housekeeping departments. Since 80 to 85 percent of a housekeeping department's budget is spent on labor, it will be a challenge for department managers to maintain clean and sanitary facilities with less staff.
9. Renewed cooperation between all healthcare constituents. Infection Preventionists, cleaning staff, patients, nursing staff and doctors will increase coordination and efforts to reduce rates associated with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). New programs will help all healthcare personnel understand the significance of maintaining a clean and sanitary environment.
10. Increased use of cleanliness measurement tools. New innovations such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meters and black light detection equipment will enable infection control personnel to get a better gauge of the quality of cleaning performed and provide essential benchmarking information.
11. New laundering regulations. Healthcare officials will face greater scrutiny regarding protocols used to launder patient use items and cleaning equipment, such as microfiber.
"Infection Preventionists and Environmental Service Directors must work together to combat the emerging threats to infection control programs in their facilities," added John Savage, director of marketing, Healthcare, Cintas. "By communicating with other departments and working with vendors who provide knowledge and services to combat these threats, healthcare facilities can proactively help reduce the opportunity for an infectious outbreak."
"The latest issue of Infection Prevention for Dummies includes the very latest information on tips for Environmental Service Directors and Infection Preventionists," added J. Darrel Hicks, REH.
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