Protect yourself, protect the public healthJuly 15, 2020 | By MedBot
Why is disinfection important to everyone?
- People fear going to the hospital: hospital-acquired infections (HAI) cost 60 billion a year alone in the US.
- People are concerned to go back to school/business during the current pandemic: We learned from Covid-19 that the importance of a cleaner environment we are living and working in can prevent the pandemic from spreading.
- This virus-free mentality should not be just for healthcare professions and it should be a good life habit for everyone.
Proper disinfection protocols can reduce the risk of HAI and other infectious diseases in a cost-effective way. Prevention of disease by disinfection is typically more accessible and cheaper than addressing an outbreak situation. Therefore, the development and implementation of a step by step disinfection protocol for the control and prevention of infectious disease is critical.
As the country reopens under COVID-19, it is crucial to implement a comprehensive, rigorous and routine cleaning and disinfecting plan.
CDC suggested protocols for schools and business reopening
- Routine cleaning and disinfecting
- Clean and disinfect daily (depending on use patterns) frequently touched surfaces and objects such as:
Face shields, Doorknobs and handles, Stair railings, Classroom desks and chairs, Lunchroom tables and chairs, Countertops, Handrails, Light switches, Handles on equipment (e.g., athletic equipment), Pushbuttons on vending machines and elevators, Shared equipment, Shared remote controls, Shared telephones, Shared desktops, Shared computer keyboards and mice, bus seats, and handrails.
Problems with current disinfection practice
- Traditional disinfection and cleaning practices are not enough to prevent the spread of disease. We lack the facts and numbers for each disinfection process to show the safety of the environment.
- Cleaning crews often miss spots or make other human errors.
- Each cleaning staff has a different cleaning method, and it is hard to standardize and it is expensive to measure every time after cleaning.
- The cleaning crew’s turnover rate is high, and it is expensive to make sure the cleaning crews meet the high disinfection standard.
To solve the problems above, it has been in the industry to use low touch/touchless disinfection technologies as supplement methods to above traditional disinfection methods. They showed success to combat HAIs in hospital operating and patient rooms.
Such technologies are:
- Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to destroy nucleic acid in those microorganisms
- Hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) utilizes the oxidative processes to kill microorganisms
- Others like the ozone generator, etc.
Both UVGI and HPV are proven effective methods for hospitals to use the robots to complement infection control protocols already in place to battle HAIs.
In summary, a comprehensive disinfection process with the combination of cleaning crew procedures and touchless solutions is an urgent need to combat current pandemic situation. It is also a long term safer environmental need for the society. Key considerations for such touchless technologies are:
- Quick and powerful enough for areas large and small
- Disinfection or sanitizing efficacy
- Effective for complex environments and surroundings
- Low or minimal human dependency
- Safety features