No-touch Technology Kills Microorganisms In Seconds


bathealthgwenBy Gwen Guerke

Even before the threat of Ebola became a household word, Bayhealth’s Environmental Services team was using a new no-touch technology for high-level decontamination. SteraMist ™ utilizes an activated hydrogen peroxide mist to decontaminate designated areas, including operating rooms and isolation (enhanced contact precautions) rooms. Bayhealth’s Environmental Services team started using SteraMist ™ in June, and with measurable success.

“We have seen significant improvement in our rate of Healthcare Associated infections (HAI) with Clostridium difficile. Prior to using the SteraMist ™, we had been using bleach to clean with, which is a recommended best practice from the Centers for Disease Control. Since initiating the program, we have identified significantly less HAI’s with C. diff, and have experienced a 51 percent reduction in infections,” said Kelly Gardner, RN, BSN, CIC, Bayhealth’s Infection Prevention manager.

“Additionally, we are targeting our operating rooms to assure a thorough cleaning as an adjunct to best practice recommendations from the CDC and Association for periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN).  We look forward to expanding the use of the technology, as necessary, based on the Infection Prevention Risk Assessment.  Our goal is to reduce risk to our patients, and by adding this technology to our arsenal of strategies we are doing just that,” she added. Environmental Service workers wear designated protective clothing while using the hand-held applicator to apply the decontaminating mist which quickly converts to oxygen and water.

It does not replace traditional cleaning methods. SteraMist ™ is safe, and can be used on any surface that might be contaminated, including areas and high-touch objects like phones, sinks, and toilets.  Bacteria and viruses have a tendency to live a long time on these type surfaces. While most common cleaning chemicals are only able to kill 40-70 percent of dangerous contaminants, SteraMist ™ consistently kills 99.999 percent of microorganisms, even those residing in the most hard-to-reach areas, while leaving no residue or noxious fumes.

Composed of ingredients found in first aid cabinets, its environmentally friendly characteristics ensure the safety of our employees as well as high-touch and delicate equipment. It is ideal for use in hospitals, and other places where inhabitants may have weakened immune systems.  In fact Emory University Hospital has adopted this technology to final clean isolation rooms and ambulances used to treat Ebola patients.

Bayhealth’s Director of Environmental Services Rick Olivere has seen an impact on room turn-around time for the isolation rooms. “Because this technology only requires seconds to kill bacteria and other microorganisms, as opposed to 10 plus minutes for chemicals to do the same thing, we can place a room back into service faster, knowing it is safe for the next patient,” he said. “It’s become part of the routine now.”