UV-C light can achieve the right log reduction, provided it is used in the right way. UV-C light is a disinfection method, and will never remove visual debris from the surface of medical equipment. Where there is visual debris, disinfection will not occur. In order for UV-C light to reach the surface, proper pre-cleaning must take place. Suppliers and manufacturers write protocols for this, which can be carried out by means of training, certification, repetition and audits. In the medical environment, this is very important to ensure the safety of both staff and patients. This human factor of cleaning is not new, and is also common in disinfection with wipes and a washing machine. What are the areas of concern in the cleaning process?
The comparison of UV-C light with commonly used disinfection methods
Cleaning and disinfection in the medical world is often done by means of disinfecting wipes and disinfection machines. Part of the process or the entire process is manual. In disinfection with wipes, the user must first manually pre-clean with a wipe, after which disinfection with another wipe can be done. This process is 100 percent manual, and therefore proper training is very important.
In cleaning and disinfection in a disinfection machine, a manual pre-cleaning is first performed by trained staff. In this process, the medical device is first treated with a cleaning solution and then cleaned with gauzes and brushes. It is then rinsed and dried, after which it is placed in the washing machine. In the washing machine, the medical device is thermochemically cleaned and disinfected. Here it is cleaned again with lots of water and detergents, and disinfected with chemicals. This process of cleaning and disinfection takes a lot of time and logistical facilities, and good training is needed in this process as well.
Training for protocol with UV-C light
Pre-cleaning usually remains a completely human operation, this is the case with disinfection wipes, disinfection machine and also with UV-C disinfection. Therefore, it is important that there is proper training for users in which the protocol is discussed in depth and where the user knows exactly what is important and where extra attention is needed. In this way, the possibility of human error is avoided as much as possible, providing assured safety with respect to the patient and employee. Not only is initial education, training, testing and certification extremely important, but also its periodic repetition. Suppliers of flexible endoscopes, cleaning, disinfection and drying equipment have the most important part in this process.
Certification and annual audits
Upon completion of training, it is required that the employee receive certification. The certification verifies that an individual possesses the knowledge, skills and decision making ability necessary to perform proper techniques for cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing medical devices. There are practical requirements and minimum training that must be met to qualify for certification. In addition to this basic requirement, one can also periodically check the quality of the disinfection process - and thus the employee's action - by conducting internal audits.
Cleaning and disinfection in the medical world is widely done through disinfectant wipes and washing machines. Now disinfection in the medical world can also be done through this new process, UV-C light. In these three methods, pre-cleaning is done manually. To accomplish this, well these methods require trained personnel. Through proper education, training, testing, certification and repetition, patient and employee safety can be ensured and an employee can perform work competently. By conducting internal audits, the quality of the disinfection process and the employee's action can be checked periodically.
To learn more about UV-C light, read also UV-C light in healthcare.