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Author: Wiemken T et al. (2014) Source: American Journal of Infection Control 2014; 42(3): 329-30.


Wiemken T et al. (2014)

The value of ready-to-use disinfectant wipes: Compliance, employee time, and costs

Background: Pre-soaked disposable wipes are increasingly used for the disinfection of near-patient surfaces to prevent the spread of microorganisms and the emergence of nosocomial infections. Compared to multiple-use towels (bucket method), typical sources of error (e.g. wrong dosage or repeated dipping of already used cloths into the use-solution) can be avoided with disposable wipes. Hence, the authors compared both methods in terms of the employees’ surface disinfection compliance, the time needed and the costs involved.

Eight environmental service workers and one nurse participated in the unblinded, randomised study, which was conducted in February 2013. To monitor disinfection performance six predefined surfaces (sink countertop, bedside table, dresser, medicine cabinet, wall-mounted cabinet, toilet) were marked with a fluorescent dye invisible in daylight. Afterwards, the surfaces were disinfected with pre-soaked disposable wipes or by applying the bucket method. 10 minutes after completion, the employee repeated the disinfection of the 6 sites with the alternate method. Depending on the disinfection performance, test persons scored up to 2 compliance points per surface (0 = no removal of dye; 1 = partial removal; 2 = complete removal) and could yield a maximum of 12 points. In addition, the time needed for disinfection was measured.

Results: With pre-soaked disposable wipes, the employees’ compliance was significantly better (10.6 compliance points) as with the bucket method (8.1 compliance points). Additionally, disinfection with disposable wipes saved considerably time (178.1 seconds vs. 230.9 seconds). The associated cost savings per employee per day was 38.58 US dollar.

The use of pre-soaked disposable wipes is advantageous over the bucket method and may improve surface disinfection processes.

American Journal of Infection Control 2014; 42(3): 329-30.

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Practical tips on the disinfection of near-patient surfaces with disposable wipes.