Not disinfecting properly throughout your community can contribute to the spread of critical illnesses. Here are some staggering statistics:
- C. diff causes nearly 500,000 illnesses in the U.S. annually
- 15,000 to 30,000 people die within 30 days of a
C. diff diagnosis
- C. diff makes up 25% of all infections in nursing homes
- C. diff comes back at least once in about 20% of patients who get it
- 21 million cases of norovirus occur annually in the U.S., with 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths
- More than 9,000 people contract tuberculosis in the U.S. annually
- Salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses, 19,000 to 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths per year in the U.S.
- E. coli causes an estimated 256,000 illnesses, 3,000 hospitalizations and 90 deaths annually
By using the right cleaning supplies and techniques, you can decrease the likelihood of outbreaks, keeping your community healthy and your residents safe.
Most housekeepers, kitchen staff and healthcare workers aren’t properly trained to use disinfectants. They spray or wipe disinfectants on the surface that needs to be cleaned and immediately wipe it off. Simple, right?
Actually, while a surface should be wiped clean after being sprayed with a disinfectant, doing so too soon will render the chemical largely ineffective. That’s because all disinfectants, whether spray or wipe, require time to remain wet on a surface in order to properly disinfect. This is known as “dwell time.”
Dwell time is an important consideration when purchasing cleaning supplies and, when paired with proper training, goes a long way toward ensuring surfaces have been effectively sanitized and disinfected. It varies by disinfectant and target organism type – bacteria, virus or fungi – and can range anywhere from as little as 30 seconds to as much as 10 minutes or more.
While a disinfectant may kill some of the organisms immediately upon contact, it must be allowed to dwell on the surface for the time period stated on the chemical’s packaging in order to achieve a 100% kill claim.
Given how busy most Long Term Care staff are, even if they know they need to let a disinfectant dwell, they may not feel they have the necessary amount of time to do so. That’s where using a disinfectant with a fast dwell time can become a major asset. For example, if a disinfectant requires only a 30-second dwell time to kill most major organisms, a housekeeper is more likely to allow the chemical to remain wet on room surfaces. By the time he or she is done spraying a second area of a room, the area he or she sprayed first can be wiped clean, and the disinfectant will have done its job.
Fast dwell times can be even more important when facing an outbreak where time is of the essence. Communication about an outbreak often can’t travel as quickly as microorganisms can. This means the longer an area remains contaminated, the longer residents, staff and visitors are at risk of getting sick. Staff need to secure contaminated areas as quickly as possible.
Reducing the spread of infections and the associated negative outcomes also can have a financial impact. A single resident move-out can cost an Assisted Living community $30,000 to $40,000 in lost revenue. The same scenario in a Skilled Nursing facility can cost over $100,000!
That’s why we’re here to help.
We know resident wellness is your top priority, so we want to empower you with the information and products to help you make the right decisions and encourage your staff to wait the extra few seconds for disinfectants to dwell. The small steps you take today can make all the difference for your residents’ health in the future.
Direct Supply offers top cleaning products from well-known brands at various price points, giving you a plethora of options to choose from that will fit into your budget. Let us help you prevent the spread of infection and disease throughout your community.
Explore our vast assortment of cleaning supplies today!