Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) remain an important source of morbidity and mortality. A major source of nosocomial pathogens is thought to be the patient’s endogenous flora, but an estimated 20%- 40% of HAIs have been attributed to cross infection through the physical contact such as touch of healthcare personnel. Contamination of the hands of healthcare personnel could in turn result from direct patient contact or indirectly from touching contaminated surfaces. Healthcare personnel are in frequent contact with environmental surfaces in patients’ rooms, providing ample opportunity for contamination of gloves and/or hands. Scientific literature has demonstrated that improving surface cleaning and disinfection reduces HAIs.
We know how important it is to use the disinfectant properly, but it is also essential that we understand which disinfectant product is ideal to select according to its purpose.The other component, the practice, relates to the proper application of disinfectant onto surfaces, proper training of users, and adherence to manufacturer’s label instructions. The combination of product and practice results in effective surface disinfection, which reduces patient risk and improves patient outcomes. For choosing the right disinfectant for various things are to be evaluated and some of them are as follows:
· Relevant Kill Claims
One should choose disinfectant products that are effective against the targeted microorganisms that are most common cause for the spread of the infection or outbreaks. Facilities should also check if that specific disinfectant product is EPA registered to kill the pathogens effectively. They also explain the nature of the microbe and its resistance towards that disinfectant and describe the advantages and disadvantages of current disinfection chemistries including alcohol, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, iodophors and many more. As we are fighting novel coronavirus, so one must use the disinfectant products which is most effective in killing this virus.
· Appropriate Contact and Kill Times
It is advised that the surface area should be let untouched for the duration disinfectant’s contact time in order to kill the microorganisms in an effective manner. Wet contact is a critical component of the evaluation because if the product evaporates too quickly, it will not remain in contact with the microorganisms for the least time required. The contact time varies according to the type of pathogen targeted, for example for the outbreak of pandemic infection situation such as COVID-19, which may require contact for the longer time for efficacy.
It is essential that one must keep in mind all the safety measures that are recommended on the label of the disinfectant product. One should pay attention to the toxicity signal,
flammability ratings and use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when evaluating the disinfectants. Facilities should keep in mind that the disinfectant chosen by them is compatible with common healthcare surface materials to make sure that product will not damage the surface or the object on which it is used.
· Ease of Use
The product should be easy to use as it will increase its chances of correct use. Disinfectants should be effective in various environmental factors like in organic matter (blood) and hard water which will make it easy to clean in just one step. The disinfection should be available in various convenient forms and should come in package in such a way that it does not easily tear, fall apart, or dry out quickly. The other important thing one should keep in mind while considering the product is whether the suppliers provide onsite support and training, and continuous education about the product and its effectiveness.
Disinfection of the surface and equipment is very important part of an infection prevention program. Disinfection should render surfaces and equipment free of pathogens as per accepted norms. One should understand that there is no perfect disinfectant product, but a careful process of selection and appropriate use of current disinfectant is necessary to keep the patients and staff safe and healthy.