Healthcare News & Insights

How one facility decreased viral infection rates in children by 44%

This year’s difficult flu season is almost over – and there’s more good news where that came from. A new study shows that using a specific form of disinfection technology can significantly reduce rates of viral infections in pediatric patients. 

As new technologies to reduce infection rates become more widespread, hospitals are using them to make serious strides in patient care.

One study looking at these new technologies is “The effect of ultraviolet-C technology on viral infection incidence in a pediatric long-term care facility,” which was published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

As the name suggests, researchers investigated the effects of using an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) disinfection device on viral infection rates at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside, NY.

And what they found could help eliminate environmental factors as sources of viral infections.

Reducing infections

You already know that disinfecting surfaces in patient rooms and common areas, along with consistent hand hygiene, is essential for cutting down on the possibility of infections within your facility.

UV-C devices are another tool that can make the cleaning and disinfecting process easier and more effective. The devices can be used to disinfect surfaces that are particularly hard to reach or clean manually.

Compared to the year before UV-C devices were used at St. Mary’s, there was a 44% decrease in viral infection incidences at the hospital. In addition, the study showed that consistently using UV-C devices can have a cumulative effect on killing bacteria, meaning the benefits build up over time as the devices are used from month to month.

Although this study looked specifically at a children’s hospital and pediatric patient viral infection rates, UV-C devices have also been effective at reducing hospital-acquired infections caused by bacteria.

Training staff

If possible, your hospital might want to look into acquiring UV-C devices, due to the numerous benefits. But remember, the devices are only as good as the staff members using them, so it’s important to educate and train your employees on best practices for using UV-C devices.

UV-C devices aren’t a cure-all for infection rates at your facility, and if you aren’t able to purchase some, other tried-and-true strategies are also effective. Remind your staff to stick to hand hygiene best practices, and hold regular training sessions on thorough hand-washing techniques.

In addition, it’s important to continue to regularly disinfect all surfaces in patient rooms (including bedrails) and common areas, since this goes a long way toward keeping your patients safe and infection rates low.

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