Hospital disinfection is a two-stage process designed to tackle both the dirt we can see and the even more dangerous enemy – the pathogens we can’t.
Regardless of what method they use, all hospital IPC teams must adopt a two-phase approach to cleaning and disinfecting clinical environments.
Stage 1 is manual cleaning, which typically involves the use of cloths, wipes, mops and sprays to physically remove dirt and soil from floors, walls, furniture and equipment.
This stage is vital due to the nature of hospital contamination, which may include blood, tissue and body fluids that present a health risk even before we take bacteria, viruses and spores into account. It’s also vital because some disinfectants don’t work properly in dirty conditions. There’s no easy fix for Stage 1, which is why it’s still done manually in hospitals all over the world.
Stage 2 is often referred to as ‘enhanced cleaning’ and focuses on the elimination of pathogens and contaminants that are not visible to the naked eye – for example bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores.
The problem with manual disinfection
This process too, must be incredibly thorough – these pathogens are microscopic and can lurk almost anywhere, particularly on textured or porous surfaces. Typically, stage 2 cleaning has also been carried out manually with the use of trigger sprays and wipes. Over the past 12 months, this has become much more laborious due to an increase in the frequency and intensity of hospital disinfection, and the need for rapid cubicle turnovers due to unprecedented demand for beds.
Having a two-stage process for cleaning and disinfection often complicates things further due to the use of different products for different applications. A foaming detergent may be more effective for stage 1, while a chlorine-based disinfectant is required to kill germs in stage 2. Different disinfectants may be required for different surfaces, and these products may have different dilution rates and different contact times, further increasing the potential for human error. These factors are contributing to a move away from manual stage 2 cleaning within the NHS.
VIRONEX makes it simple
Switching to VIRONEX means IPC teams can use the same product for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 enhanced cleaning. Our formula has been developed specifically for spray application in stage 2, but since it’s a liquid, it can also be used to support the manual removal of dirt and soil, simplifying the entire process.
VIRONEX is supplied pre-mixed in a pressurised canister so there’s no room for error. Staff love the convenience of a grab-and-go system that doesn’t require any special training, room preparation or protective gear – VIRONEX is suitable for all surfaces so it can be used to clean things like vinyl mattress covers and flooring, textiles and even electronic equipment without the risk of damage or corrosion.
VIRONEX is applied using a spray wand and nozzle that delivers a fine, continuous mist. As a stage 2 disinfectant it’s designed to fall out of suspension and dry quickly with no need to wipe, achieving 99.999% kill in a single application. As a stage 1 cleaner, VIRONEX can be applied more heavily to the surface before being wiped down to remove physical soiling and contaminants. A second spray application can then be carried out to complete the decontamination process.
VIRONEX is an extremely safe disinfectant product that is non-flammable and easy to store. This means it’s practical for IPC teams to keep a canister on every hygiene trolley for on-the-spot cleaning as well as wider disinfection purposes. The product has a pleasant odour and a short exclusion time, which minimises disruption on wards and enables treated areas to be reoccupied again quickly.
To find out more about VIRONEX, visit the product page or to make an enquiry, get in touch!