Posted by Swish - The How to Experts ● 12/12/19 2:00 PM

No more hiding: Uncovering hidden germs

magnifyWhen it comes to germs, it’s not a question of “if” they are present in your facility. It’s a question of “where.” And despite consistent, thorough cleaning efforts, harmful pathogens tend to survive and can infect unsuspecting staff, patients, residents and/or guests.

How do germs persist? For one, pathogens can survive for hours – and sometimes even days – on hard surfaces. Cold germs, for example, can survive on indoor surfaces for 24 hours, and the flu virus can last for up to two days. And while it can be easy to spot dirt or mold with the naked eye, these germs remain hidden from view – making them nearly impossible to eliminate entirely.

What if you knew where germs were hiding?

When faced with a challenge, having more information typically allows you to be better prepared to overcome what’s before you. The same holds true for the war on germs. If you knew where they were, you would be better equipped to get rid of them and create a safer, healthier environment. Right?

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 8.18.37 AMThis is where some groundbreaking new technology comes in. Developed by Charlotte Products with the help of researchers at the University of Toronto, OptiSolve imaging technology uncovers hidden areas of contamination. Using a solution that is sprayed on a surface, the area is photographed under ultra violet light. When run through imaging software, bacteria that were previously imperceptible are revealed. The invisible becomes visible.

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5 steps to create a healthier environment

Knowing where the germs are hiding is just the beginning. Here are five steps that can lead to a cleaner, healthier workplace.

  1. Illuminate surface pathogens: By using imaging technology, you can identify exactly where the germs are. You can see where cleaners may have missed, and reveal contaminated areas you may not have thought of – such as the bottom of an arm rest or the door knob to the lunch room.
  2. Measure contamination levels: Not all surfaces will contain the same level of contamination, so knowing which areas are your highest-risk will allow you to focus your efforts to cut down on the spread of harmful bacteria. Imaging technology will not only reveal where the germs are, but indicate where the levels are highest.
  3. Target cleaning efforts: Once the problem areas are identified, precision-cleaning techniques can be used to focus your efforts. By identifying which pathogens are where, you can use the right products at the right intervals for the cleanest results.
  4. Train your staff: When your cleaners understand where the bacteria are hiding – and where they are at their highest levels – they are in a better position to conduct precision-cleaning routines. Educating them on both cleaners and disinfectants – and when to use each type of product – will result in cleaner surfaces.
  5. Validate your efforts: An additional round of imaging can help you see when the cleaning has been done well, and where improvements can be made, allowing you to concentrate on those areas that put your staff, patients, guests and/or residents at greatest risk.  Validating your routines is an important ongoing step to ensure contaminated surfaces are effectively and regularly cleaned.

Swish is proud to offer OptiSolve technology to our clients, helping you identify areas in your facility that put people at risk of infection. We also offer a range of cleaning and disinfecting products that allow you to effectively tackle pathogens in a precise and calculated manner, so that you can ultimately create a safer, healthier, cleaner environment.

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Topics: hospital infection control, Infection Control, Infection Prevention

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