What is whole ward decontamination?

From our experience, whole ward decontamination is one of the most effective methods of significantly impacting infection rates, particularly those that have persisted over an extended period of time. Typically hospitals who experience a PII (period of increased incidence) of a particular infection such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), C-diff (Clostridium difficile), CPE (carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae) or VRE (vancomycin resistent Enterococci) struggle to find any correlation in the strain types of the organisms from patient specimens often leading to extended periods of outbreaks and ward closures. Multiple or non-correlating strain types in patient specimens can indicate wide spread contamination of the environment, contaminated patient equipment or contaminated shared facilities, such as bathrooms, day rooms or treatment rooms. Full decant and decontamination of these spaces and equipment has proven to be a highly effective way of breaking the chain of infection and stopping outbreaks.

 In today's high paced healthcare environment, hospitals often struggle to release the bed capacity to allow the ward or area to be fully decanted of patients. Hygiene Solutions decontamination technicians use proven and safe methods of compartmentalising the ward or area to allow the space to be decontaminated whilst minimising the need for empty beds and reducing bed capacity. Years of experience in performing these programs and thousands of decontamination processes later, we have developed a suite of check sheets and best practice templates for hospitals to use. Whole ward decontamination is not for the faint hearted, but is one of our favourite solutions to reducing infection!

This service can be delivered as an On-Call service as part of a Project or as a deployment within your Managed Service provision.

The process for this service follows:

Preparation:

  • You identify an increased level of incidence or risk of infection in a clinical area or within a specific patient group
  • Our project teams work with you to identify the bed spaces, clinical areas and equipment which may present a risk of cross-contamination to other patients
  • Our team will also work with you and other clinical and operational colleagues to create a plan that will accommodate patient moves and operational capacity around the decontamination project
  • We will analyse the space and ensure that the optimum number of decontamination systems are deployed to effectively treat the space. We will liaise with your facilities management team to ensure that the decontamination process will be compatible with the space including ventilation, extraction etc
  • We work with you to ensure the area is manually cleaned and that the curtains, linen and other absorbent materials are removed

Deployment:

  • Our technician arrives on site and carries out pre-process safety checks
  • They prepare the area for the decontamination
  • They liaise with the clinical and hospital staff in the adjacent areas to ensure they are fully informed about the decontamination process
  • They carry out the decontamination process and validate it to ensure it has met specific process parameters
  • Finally, our technician will check the area is safe to readmit patients back into, dismantle any enclosures, and clear the decontamination equipment and systems to allow the clinical staff to prepare the area for the readmission of patients