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Standardizing Disinfectant Wipes Across a Hospital System

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      Background

      Our healthcare system is comprised of eleven hospitals and over 300 ambulatory sites with various practice settings. Staff are required to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and patient care equipment. A review of disinfectant wipes used by clinical staff at all locations identified a variety of available products and uses. Some locations had multiple types of disinfectant wipes, causing confusion amongst staff regarding which product to use and dwell times, which was particularly highlighted during the pandemic. This review confirmed the need to standardize to one disinfectant wipe clinical staff would use on surfaces and patient care equipment at all locations.

      Methods

      An extensive review of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant wipes was conducted and a comparison table was created to include: active ingredients, kill claims and dwell times. Literature on the selection of the ideal disinfectant wipe was reviewed and the criteria to select the best wipe was set.

      Results

      Criteria to select the wipe was based on literature review and included: highest kill claims, one-step disinfection, short dwell time, compatibility with common medical equipment, ease of use and safest for patients and staff. A total of fourteen disinfectant wipes with varying active ingredients and concentrations were compared. Dwell times ranged from 1-10 minutes. Of the 14 wipes reviewed three had the safest designated EPA category of IV and one of these had the most kill claims and greatest compatibility with our current medical equipment.

      Conclusions

      A prioritized need for consistent practices and products in our growing healthcare system was highlighted during the SARS CoV-2 pandemic. Utilizing a wipe that is one-step disinfection, has short dwell times, requires minimum PPE and is compatible with our medical equipment was key to choosing the most effective product for staff use.
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