CCH and UNMC Team Up for Hospital Environment Study
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.7 million hospitalized patients are stricken with healthcare-associated infections each year in the United States. These infections are responsible for close to 100,000 deaths each year. Intense efforts have focused on ways to protect patients and prevent these infections from occurring.
Many studies show the importance of the hospital environment in spreading germs that cause hospital infections. To further investigate this, Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) is participating in a research study to help better understand cleaning of the hospital environment. The study is being conducted by a group of physicians and researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha. The purpose of the study is to test a new device that measures the cleanliness of different surfaces in patient care rooms.
A small area in a patient care room is sampled with a small stick that is put into a device for measuring contaminants in the environment. The results of this measurement are available within seconds. Readings will also be used to educate the hospital cleaning staff on the best practices in hospital cleaning. Results from CCH and UNMC will be studied by the research team to determine the best use for this detection device to maximize environmental cleanliness in hospitals.
“As a former Director of Environmental Services, I am both intrigued and delighted to collaborate with UNMC in a research study regarding the hospital environment.” states Hospital President/C.E.O, Mike Hansen, “Hopefully, the end result will be information we can use to further improve the safety and health of people we serve.”
Sara Hough RN, BSN is the Hospital’s Risk Management/Infection Control Director and serves as the primary study coordinator at CCH. She says that data collection for the study has been ongoing since last April. “Two times each week I test 18 sites in a patient room that has been cleaned after a patient is discharge and made ready for the next patient.” Hough states, “These numbers are sent to UNMC and a monthly composite score comes back to us.”