St. Vincent Healthcare Implements Facility-Wide Strategy to Combat Infections

Monday, October 15, 2018 Environmental Health
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New Disinfection Toolkit for Environmental Services and standardized, bleach-based protocol fights C. difficile, enhances infection prevention and promotes patient safety facility-wide.

BILLINGS, Mont., Oct. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), an infectious and potentially

life threating bacteria that can survive on environmental surfaces for months, is one of the most prevalent causes of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States.1 At St. Vincent Healthcare, one of Montana's largest comprehensive hospitals, serving the healthcare needs of over 400,000 people in a four-state area, reducing the incidence of C. difficile infection is a top priority.

In December, 2017, St. Vincent Healthcare's Environmental Service Department, led by Environmental Services Manager, Michael Swavely, took those efforts even further, partnering with Clorox Healthcare to introduce a standardized, bleach-based cleaning and disinfecting protocol to fight C. difficile, enhance infection prevention and promote patient safety facility-wide.

The new program began with a product overhaul. After assessing a wide range of options, the Environmental Services Department and Infection Control Committee, with the full support of senior leadership, decided to consolidate disinfecting products and implement Clorox Healthcare® Fuzion Cleaner Disinfectant facility-wide. Clorox Healthcare® Fuzion Cleaner Disinfectant, a next-generation bleach product that kills C. difficile spores in two minutes, has a very low odor profile and is safe to use on a wide variety of surfaces, is now used for all daily and terminal cleaning. This includes patient care areas, such as isolation rooms, standard patient rooms, procedural areas and intensive care units, and public spaces such as waiting rooms, hallways, elevators and public restrooms. Implementation of the new product and its expansive use throughout the facility was supported both by formal training on compliant product use and the introduction of standardized cleaning practices based on the Clorox Healthcare Disinfection Toolkit for Environmental Services designed to optimize the thoroughness and efficacy of surface cleaning facility-wide.

As part of the new protocol, all 53 members of the St. Vincent Environmental Services care team have undergone specialized training to use the Clorox Healthcare Disinfection Toolkit for Environmental Services. To date, three team members have also completed the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) Train-the-Trainer course and nineteen have earned CHEST credentials, completing a rigorous 24-hour curriculum that trains and certifies frontline environmental services professionals in infection prevention, evidence-based cleaning practices, proper waste and linen handling, safety and effective communication. "Our partnership with Clorox Healthcare has been instrumental throughout this process. From leading formal trainings and huddles to address issues and questions, to joining the team on eight-hour shifts, our Clorox Healthcare sales representatives supported our team every step of the way."

While St. Vincent Healthcare already outperforms the national average for preventing C. difficile infections, the new protocol goes even further to protect patients, staff and visitors.

"Some healthcare facilities wait for a positive diagnosis of C. difficile infection to place patients on isolation precautions and start cleaning just their rooms with bleach, but with Fuzion, we are able to be much more proactive," said Swavely. "Our standardized, bleach-based protocol ensures we are killing C. difficile spores and other dangerous pathogens everywhere they pose a threat, providing the same high standards of cleanliness and safety in public restrooms, waiting areas, hallways, elevators, nurses stations and standard patient rooms, as in isolation rooms, intensive care units and other high-risk areas."

St. Vincent Healthcare is dedicated to providing a clean and safe facility in both public and patient areas. Clorox Healthcare® Fuzion Cleaner Disinfectant and the Clorox Healthcare Disinfection Toolkit for Environmental Services has helped the St. Vincent Healthcare Environmental Services care team ensure patient safety and quality care.

About St. Vincent HealthcareSt. Vincent Healthcare delivers compassionate, quality care to the people of Montana and Northern Wyoming, as it has for more than 115 years. In addition to 11 primary care clinics in and around the Billings area, we offer a number of progressive specialty services. St. Vincent even has a special "hospital within a hospital" just for children, St. Vincent Children's Healthcare. St. Vincent is part of SCL Health, a nonprofit faith-based health system with 11 hospitals in three states.

1 Saint, S, et al. "Clostridium difficile Infection in the United States: A National Study Assessing Preventive Practices Used and Perceptions of Practice Evidence." Infect. Con­trol Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36.8:969–971.

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SOURCE St. Vincent Healthcare

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