Ralph Taylor Shares Personal Experience with SSI
Ralph Taylor from Northside Medical Center shares his experience with an SSI and his thoughts on UVC disinfection in a recent webinar with Modern Healthcare:
I just want to kind of put a little personal story behind the need for UVC disinfection. It was in December of ’14 I had surgery to repair a tendon. And during that surgery, unfortunately, I did get an SSI. So it makes it very personal when you’re actually on the other side of the stethoscope. I use that candidly. Marcus Engel wrote a book about that and how healthcare providers need to see what it’s like to be on the other side. And unfortunately for me, I was one of those health care providers that was on the other side, was hospitalized for a week with sepsis. Luckily everything was good, I healed well. Took several, several months.
But the one thing I did was try to incorporate the best cleaning practices within my operating room suite. And one of the challenges of doing those sort of things—most terminal cleaning efforts are done at night, and the leadership team is not there. You know, we go home at five, six, seven o’clock. And we depend on the EVS crew to come in, terminal clean the ORs so we’ll be ready for the next batch of patients the next day. What I had to do was actually validate the cleaning processes, the competency of those folks. And no one ever comes to work with the intent of harming someone. We all know that in health care. But sometimes we get complacent in our roles and we forget to look beyond what we can see.
Another challenge in the OR is turnovers. There’s been some talk about do we run UVC during a turnover process, or do we run UVC terminal? UVC is meant to be ran as an adjunct. The AORN has specific verbiage in their recommended practices that facilities seek an adjunct to their terminal cleaning process to enhance the cleaning process, and that’s exactly what measured UVC does.
But you have to look at all the different manufacturers that are currently in the market. I looked at the two that had the best claims. I wanted a measured dose, and then I looked at a competitor. So, I was able to pilot two different companies, and we did that over about an eight-month period. And what I found during the pilot is, you know, during a six-month period I had zero SSIs. But when we would switch different technologies, I had a little spike. So, I was able to vet out the two technologies, and I think we need to talk about that technology just a little.
So, as you look at UVC, there’s salespeople everywhere. They want to tell you how big and bad their equipment is, how great it does this, how great it does that. So for me, in the operating room environment, I needed to find something that was going to be a single placement versus a multi placement. And that’s really simple. If you have to touch something more than once, then that’s labor intensive, it drives up your cost, it drives up your manpower, and it reduces efficiencies.
The next thing, as I mentioned earlier, I needed a piece of equipment that you kind of set it and forget it. And you can set one piece of equipment, has a measured dose delivery. It takes out the thinking process of someone in a multi placement having to go, “Well, do I need to move it here, or should I move it here? What’s the most optimal?” So, we try to keep the efficiencies going and be FTE-friendly. The last thing we want to do is be an FTE burden to an already taxed staff that’s usually a minimal staff and they have tons of work.
And, you know, as you’re selecting a UVC company, everyone’s going to select them based on a different amount of variables. For me, I needed a company that had been in the game for a while. I needed a device that measured the room and was able to tell me how much of a dose I need to apply in order to eradicate the pathogens.
But the last, most important piece in the technology is having a non-biased review and having a randomized clinical trial. There’s a lot of different companies out there that do different things with peer-reviewed articles. But as you’re looking for equipment and you’re looking for a company, just ensure that a non-biased, randomized clinical trial is at the forefront, because that is a staple of evidence-based practice.
So, it’s very interesting that UVC has hit the market and has hit it hard, but I think the personal aspect for me is, it affected me personally.
For the entire webinar, click here.