Archive December 2015 XVI, No. 12

10 Products to Boost Your Fight Against SSIs

Consider these new innovations and old standbys to enhance your infection control strategy.

Kendal Gapinski

Kendal Gapinski, Contributing Editor


infection control products STOMP OUT GERMS While infection control products, like quick-dry disinfectant wipes, will boost your prevention efforts, they only work as part of a comprehensive program.

Looking to boost your infection prevention efforts? We surveyed 140 surgical facility managers on their top infection control products and spoke to Donna Nucci, RN, CIC, an infection preventionist at Yale-New Haven (Conn.) Hospital, on the best practices for each one. Straight from the front lines, here are 10 ways to win the war against SSIs.

Point-of-use cleaning and transportation trays
Pre-cleaning at the point of use should be the first step of reprocessing endoscopes, yet nearly one-third (31%) of our respondents say they aren't doing it. After use, staff should flush endoscopes with an enzymatic solution and remove organic material from the exterior of the scope, says Ms. Nucci. You can make the task easier with customizable single-use endoscope kits equipped with a brush, pre-moistened sponge and pre-measured enzymatic solution. "A custom pack takes the guesswork out and ensures consistent best practices," she says.

To reduce the risk of bioburden, keep all surgical instruments moist with an enzymatic solution, especially if the case is longer than an hour, says Ms. Nucci. Easy-to-use pre-cleaning enzymatic sprays, foams and gels prevent blood and organic matter from drying and impeding sterilization.

Safe transportation of dirty instruments and scopes to your reprocessing area in a rigid, covered container is also key, says Ms. Nucci. To help limit mix-ups, many survey respondents note that they like using color-coded tray liners that indicate whether instruments are contaminated or clean.

Manual cleaning aids
Manufacturers have developed several ways to make the tedious and error-ridden task of manual cleaning more standardized and easier for your techs. One favorite of our surveyed surgical leaders was automatic detergent dispensing systems, which add precisely the right amount of enzymatic solution and correct-temperature water for cleaning. For lumened instruments, several managers swear by independent flushing systems and pull-through brushes that allow for easier, more thorough cleaning inside tricky cannulas.

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