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Disinfecting Hospital Rooms to Reduce Rate of HAI Transmission


Gonzalo Bearman, MD, MPH, professor of medicine, and hospital epidemiologist, Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Virginia Commonwealth University, discusses methods to disinfect hospital rooms so as to limit the transmission of healthcare-associated infections.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“The best disinfection methods are probably going to, first, be the manual mechanical clean, and that’s using some sort of a product that kills spores, so either bleach, or another FDA-approved sporicidal agent, that’s critically important. In terms of ensuring that the cleaning was done correctly, unfortunately, we don’t really have a fool-proof way of assessing the quality of the terminal disinfection.
There are methods that are used like black light assessments of cleaned services, or ATP assessments of cleaned services. Those are surrogate markers of cleanliness, but they don’t necessarily confirm that there’s an absence of either vegetative bacteria or spores.
Another thing that’s been used is UVC light-zapping technologies, such as UVC robots, that go in to terminally clean a room at the end of a patient’s stay. By using the light, or UVC light, it actually kills both vegetative bacteria and spores. Again, it’s difficult to assess the quantity of that killing, though.”
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