Infection Control Trend: Hospital UV Disinfection
Hospital disinfection is a critical topic in infection control. Without the standards of disinfection -- from hand washing to scrubs to proper ventilation -- hospitals would be the dens of illness and disease that they once were. Today, patients feel secure that they will not get more sick by going to a hospital and their families are willing and able to visit them safely as well.
But just because disinfection has improved does not mean that it is as good as it can be. Hospital UV disinfection is one frontier that healthcare facilities have only begun to explore. Is this type of disinfection a trend or is it here to stay?
A Need for Consistency
Hospitals need disinfection procedures that are reliable. Manual disinfection can certainly be effective, but the problem is that no matter how explicit the standard procedure is, no two rooms will ever be cleaned to exactly the same specifications. Human error will always be part of the manual disinfection process. By utilizing UV disinfection, it becomes much easier for the disinfection process to be consistent from room to room, further protecting patients and facilities from hospital-acquired infections.
Hospital UV Disinfection as Supplemental
The importance of lower HAI rates has only increased over the past few years. Anything that facilities can do to decrease these rates effectively is on the table, and UV disinfection is certainly one of those things. In many cases, UV disinfection will never replace standard operating procedures and instead can be used as a supplemental method to manual cleaning, making it an attractive tool in infection control for facilities managers. One study using UV-C treatment recently found that “UV light disinfection was effective on both vertical and horizontal surfaces and that the results reinforced the need for a comprehensive cleaning solution (i.e., EPA-registered surface disinfectants along UV light disinfection).”
Because UV disinfection can easily be used alongside standard procedures while facilities measure and note its effectiveness for themselves, it is likely a trend that will become a common practice rather than a flash in the pan.
Emphasis on Efficiency
Hospitals rely on efficient technology that does not compromise the patient experience. Hospitals need to be able to clean patient rooms effectively, minimize the risk of hospital-acquired infections, and make the best use of their sometimes limited staff. This emphasis on efficiency makes hospital UV disinfection a trend that is likely to stick around since far-UV technology specifically means that surfaces and airstreams can be disinfected quite quickly. When consistent, reliable disinfection can also happen quickly, hospitals can accommodate more patients, lower their HAI rates and contribute to a happier, healthier community.
If you want to learn more about how different types of UV light operate differently in the context of disinfection, be sure to download our presentation below.