The Importance of Effective Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection
Studies have shown that contaminated surfaces are an established route of transmission for high-risk pathogens, including those with pandemic potential, such as coronaviruses.1
The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced why it is so important to practice good hygiene and ensure surfaces, particularly those that are classed as ‘high-risk’, are cleaned, and disinfected frequently. High-risk areas are those more likely to become contaminated with bodily fluids (for example commodes) and other frequently handled re-usable equipment, which subsequently provide a higher risk of transmission. This is especially important in areas such as bathrooms and other toileting settings.
There is emerging evidence that contaminated surfaces play a role in the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19. Pathogens such as this can survive when aerosolised and remain viable on some surfaces for up to 9 days.2
When you consider that alongside studies which find that on average there are over 93 contact episodes per hour between patients, staff and visitors, the challenge of reducing the risk of cross-infection is amplified.3 Environmental surfaces like bedside rails, workstations and door handles are of particular importance, due to the frequency with which they are touched. 4
Education. Education. Education.
Various studies have found that implementing educational training and interventions can dramatically improve both the quality and frequency of environmental cleaning & disinfection.4,5 It is vitally important to take advantage of the resources available and our experienced team are on hand to provide advice and training for you and your teams to help ensure effective surface cleaning and disinfection practices, helping to minimise the risk of cross-infection.
Minimising contact with reusable equipment and high touch surfaces is therefore critical; so much so that the World Health Organization published guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic recommending that wherever possible, equipment should be single-use and disposable. 6
In instances when this is not feasible, effective surface cleaning and disinfection practices help to minimise the risk of cross-infection.
COVID-19: Cleaning and Disinfection for Touch Points
Are we really aware of the surfaces we touch and the risk of transmission if these are not cleaned and disinfected correctly?
Top 10 touch points
Common touch points within healthcare environments include:
Other frequent touch points found often found outside of healthcare environments include:
- Keypads & touch screens
- Banisters & hand rails
Now more than ever we should be acutely aware of the environment around us and the risk of transmission if the right precautions are not taken, with many of us still wary of communal spaces and keen to see measures in place to keep everyone safe. Research has found that 81% of people felt that visible regular cleaning of high-traffic surfaces would make them feel more comfortable visiting shared areas amid the coronavirus outbreak.1 This is something we can all relate to given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.Download the poster here
The Azo™ Range
As a brand established within the healthcare sector for over 35 years, Azo™ encompasses a full product portfolio including detergent wipes, disinfectant wipes and 2-in-1 cleaning and disinfectant wipes, which can be tailored for general purpose to specialist cleaning and disinfecting; including medical areas.
The Azo™ range is extensively used in hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacies, laboratories, dental and GP surgeries to help reduce contamination and the risk of infection.
- Otter, J.A. et al (2016) Transmission of SARS and MERS coronaviruses and influenza virus in healthcare settings: the possible role of dry surface contamination. Journal of Hospital Infection. 92 235e250
- Kampf, G. (2020) Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection. Volume 104, Issue 3, 246-251
- Cheng, V. et al. (2017) Hand-touch contact assessment of high-touch and mutual-touch surfaces among healthcare workers, patients, and visitors. Journal of Hospital Infection. Volume 90, Issue 3, 220–225
- Reese, S. et al. (2019) Implementation of Cleaning and Evaluation Process for Mobile Patient Equipment Using Adenosine Triphosphate. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 40(7):798-800.
- Zimmerman, P. et al. (2018) Instilling a culture of cleaning: Effectiveness of decontamination practices on non-disposable sphygmomanometer cuffs. Journal of Infection Prevention. 19(6):294-299.
- World Health Organisation (2020) Infection prevention and control during health care when COVID-19 is suspected - WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC/2020.3