APIC’s annual conference – held this year in Minneapolis – is the largest gathering of infection control professionals in the world.

Our CleanSlate UV team had the pleasure of attending APIC 2018 to learn about emerging infection control best practices and technologies.

Here are a couple takeaways from the conference:

Nurses are the Key to Effective Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

Jefferson Health (NJ) presented the findings of a wide ranging study of hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs). They aim to improve patient care and reduce costs by slowing the spread of antimicrobial resistance. This is  accomplished through education on appropriate agents, doses and durations.

In their study, Jefferson Health-New Jersey found that nurses are under-utilized by ASPs and that a program’s effectiveness can be greatly improved through additional Nurse engagement.

Additionally, they found:

  • Only 50% of nurses were checking susceptibility results before administering antibiotics.
  • Only 65% of nurses were notifying physicians if resistance was shown to antibiotics.

They concluded that nurses by can be more engaged by opening ASP participation to the nursing leadership and re-writing materials to be more friendly to nursing staff.

Managing "Kangaroo Care" Risks in NICUs

Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) encourage skin to skin care (known as ‘kangaroo care’) between parents and premature infants. Numerous studies have shown the benefit of having parents hold their premature babies in the NICU and play a role in their recovery.

Unfortunately, a Michigan Children’s Hospital noticed a spike in S. aureus infections among newborns after implementation of ‘Kangaroo Care’. The staff used APIC to showcase three changes they implemented to help eliminate this as a potential vector for infection.

First, they worked to increase hand hygiene compliance in the NICU. Second, they held mandatory education sessions for staff around S. aureus and how it is spread. Finally they implemented mandatory parent skin cleaning prior to skin to skin care.

These steps were simple for parents/staff and something NICUs across the country may take lessons from. One thing is for sure: whether bacteria is transmitted via hands, staff/visitor smartphones, or a parent’s bare skin, high acuity areas like the NICU require a multi-faceted approach.

Sanitizing Smartphones and Tablets – and Tracking it.

“If it isn’t measured, it didn’t happen”. This is a growing ethos within hospitals, especially when deploying and evaluating new technologies.

That’s why we were excited to discuss the launch of CleanSlate UV’s RFID-powered compliance suite. This will give clinicians, administrators and infection control managers the information they need to ensure facility-owned mobile devices – such as smartphones and tablets – are being sanitized at regular intervals.

The suite will give facilities the data required to answer now-common JACO questions such as “When was that last sanitized?” and “How do you know people are following protocol?”. We are working on incorporating RFID functionality in all CleanSlate UV devices.

To learn more about CleanSlate UV’s mobile device sanitizing solutions, and what makes CleanSlate UV the most effective tabletop sanitizer available, please visit our website at www.cleanslateuv.com

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