Use of a fluorescent chemical as a quality indicator for a hospital cleaning program.


Hamilton Health Sciences is a large teaching hospital with over 1,000 beds and consists of three acute care sites, one Regional Cancer Center and two Rehabilitation/Chronic Care facilities. An environmental cleaning pilot project was initiated at the acute care Henderson site, following an outbreak of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE). Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) due to antibiotic-resistant organisms are increasing in Southern Ontario. Environmental cleaning plays a key role in eradicating resistant organisms that live in hospital environments, thereby helping to reduce HAIs. The environmental cleaning practices on the Orthopaedic Unit were identified as a contributing factor to the VRE outbreak after visual assessments were completed using a Brevis GlitterBug product, a chemical that fluoresces under an ultraviolet (UV) lamp. These findings led to a hospital-wide cleaning improvement initiative on all units except critical care areas. The GlitterBug potion was employed by Infection Control and Customer Support Services (CSS) as a tool to evaluate the daily cleaning of patient washrooms as well as discharge cleaning of contact precaution isolation rooms.
Over a four-week period, the GlitterBug potion was applied to seven frequently touched standard targets in randomly selected patient bathrooms on each unit and 14 frequently touched targets prior to cleaning in the rooms used for isolation. The targets were then evaluated using the UV lamp to detect objects that were not cleaned and the results were recorded on a standardized form. The rate of targets cleaned versus the targets missed was calculated.
The overall rate for daily cleaning of bathrooms and cleaning of isolation rooms was poor with only 23% of the targets cleaned. Based on these findings, several interventions were implemented. This resulted in a significant improvement in cleaning practices during the pilot project. Greater than 80% of the targets were cleaned compared to the baseline findings of 23%. Subsequently, nosocomial cases of VRE have declined despite the increased prevalence of VRE in the Hamilton and surrounding regions.
The GlitterBug product is an effective tool to evaluate environmental cleaning and adherence to policies and procedures and this method was superior to previous visual inspection methods. The use of GlitterBug potion improved physical cleaning and enhanced staff contribution. The Brevis GlitterBug product was incorporated into the CSS environmental cleaning program at Hamilton Health Sciences as a quality indicator to monitor environmental cleaning practices.

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