4 Ways in Which ATP Testing Improves Hygiene of a Healthcare Facility

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ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate is the energy molecule that is present in all living cells, from our muscle tissues to the microbial cells. The presence of ATP on a surface indicates the presence of microbiological residue on the surface. This is a prominent red flag as far as sanitation and hygiene of a premise is concerned.

Healthcare facilities like hospitals, diagnostic labs, nursing homes, birthing centers and psychiatric care homes give a lot of importance to maintaining cleanliness and hygiene of surroundings. Lack of hygiene can lead to outbreak of infections and affect the health of patients, doctors and other visitors to the facility.

So how do busy healthcare facilities ensure that the high-traffic areas, patient rooms and medical equipment stay safe for use and do not pose any threat to the health and wellbeing of patients or that of others?

Here are a few things you need to be aware of hygiene in healthcare facilities.

1. How ATP Testing Helps?

ATP testing in healthcare facilities is extremely helpful in keeping vulnerable spaces safe, sterile and hygienic.

Healthcare facilities use ATP testing as a method of rapidly verifying efficacy of cleaning procedures. High-touch areas, patient rooms and medical equipment can be verified in this manner and checked for the presence of organic residue. Testing gives almost instant results and can help determine whether rooms and equipment are safe for use.

When ATP in cellular material comes into contact with luciferase present in the ATP testing device, it emits a green light. This bioluminescence is a telltale sign of organic residue or cellular contamination.

Many hospitals and healthcare facilities rely on visual assessment of cleanliness, but this often gives subjective results that can potentially undermine infection control strategies. ATP testing gives accurate, measurable and objective results, and helps validate and verify cleaning procedures.

2. Good Hygiene Conditions Improve Team Morale

A strong team commitment is required to maintain the high cleanliness standards of a healthcare facility. The sanitation team will have to meet and exceed the expectations set by the sanitation plan. This usually involves regular cleaning, sterilization and other maintenance activities.

When your team is properly trained and educated in the best cleaning methods and is equipped with quality cleaning products, it becomes easier to comply with standard sanitation practices. This also boosts the morale of the team that has well-defined work protocols, job roles and measurable goals.

ATP testing helps provide a template for healthcare workers from various streams like nursing, infection prevention (IP) and environmental services (ES) to work together to improve safety and health. With better health outcomes and result-oriented cleaning practices, you will also notice that healthcare and sanitation professionals are more motivated and upbeat.

3. ATP Testing Helps Curb Spread of HAI

Healthcare acquired infections (HAI) are amongst the top 10 causes of fatalities in the US. HAIs are infections that are acquired by patients during the course of treatment at a healthcare facility. It is estimated that HAIs cost hospitals in the US between $28billion and $45billion annually.

Cleaning and sanitation procedures are vital underpinning services that ensure good hygiene in hospitals. But they are grossly overlooked and are very rarely subjected to objective measurement. A rapid cleanliness verification system will provide means to monitor and evaluate conditions that are extremely critical to patient recovery and infection control.

ATP cleaning verification testing systems provide quick validation of cleaning procedures and delivery of service. The ATP-bioluminescence system is able to spot invisible contamination and infectious organic material on surfaces. This highly reduces the chances of patients acquiring infections in a healthcare facility.

4. ATP Testing is Easy

One of the biggest reasons behind the success of ATP testing in hygiene-sensitive industries is that it is super-easy to use and gives rapid results. There are also testing devices that are specifically made for critical care and sterile areas that are capable of detecting extremely low levels of biological residue.

The typical ATP testing device is small and portable, and gives readings within a matter of seconds. The extreme sensitivity to biomaterial and quick results make it possible to assess cleanliness, validate cleaning procedures and take corrective action immediately. This prevents patient infection risk and ensures safety.

ATP testing can be used to objectively measure cleanliness of all areas that a patient potentially comes into contact with. Patient rooms, common passageways, public areas and diagnostic labs all are highly critical areas that need to be monitored for infection control.

A good hospital sanitation program will include;

  • timely delivery of cleaning and disinfectant products
  • continued and consistent training of cleaning staff in infection control best practices
  • standardized sanitation procedures for high-touch surfaces, and
  • objective methods to monitor and measure cleanliness.

Conclusion

Surfaces in healthcare facilities are constantly coming into contact with potentially infectious and disease-causing substances. It is very important that a scientific and validated sanitation program is implemented in healthcare facilities to ensure the health and wellbeing of patients, care providers and society in general.


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