I bet you think I’m talking about bed rails again, but you are wrong! Not that we shouldn’t beat that drum frequently, however, in several recent studies, one at Cambridge University, the other at Emory University School of Medicine, another culprit was identified as increasing risk to our residents. The studies were conducted to determine whether a hospital bed previously occupied by a patient with Clostridioides difficile increased the risk of hospital-onset C. difficile infection (HO-CDI).
The findings are a little concerning; if a resident was placed in a bed or room that was previously used for a resident with C. difficile, there is evidence of an increased risk of HO-CDI. Recommendations to reduce this risk? Paying closer attention to the cleaning and disinfecting process in healthcare settings. Well, that isn’t helpful, especially since in November 2023, the CDC determined that a broadly used hospital disinfectant called Hypochlorite is ineffective against C. diff!
This really is scary stuff! What is your team doing to help prevent the spread of this nasty bug? When was the last time you took inventory of your cleaning supplies and validated them against the CDC website as being effective? But remember, no matter what disinfectant you use, paying attention to dwell time is important. You can take a great disinfectant, but if you only leave it on the surface for five seconds, you won’t get nearly the effect you need. As always, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations! Maybe it is time to re-educate your environmental/housekeeping teams on appropriate use of cleaning/disinfecting supplies. Contact your provider of cleaning supplies for assistance, they are the experts! Make a point of doing environmental rounds, especially when a resident with C. diff is discharged, observe how the cleaning process goes and coach your team as needed. These simple steps may make a world of difference for your residents! Stay well and stay informed!