Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  



Hospital uptake of ATP hygiene monitoring is on the up

Hygiena International reports that an increasing number of hospitals are seeing the benefits of using Hygiena SystemSURE Plus ATP hygiene monitoring equipment for the verification of cleaning. The implementation of a hygiene monitoring programme has provided the impetus for a number of changes that have taken place and has many uses in different departments.

Following 10 years of research, evaluation and use with healthcare, specific benchmarks and standards of cleanliness for ATP have been determined and are also established in official standards such as DS2451-10 2011 in Denmark and Sweden.

The evidence provided by the ATP monitoring system has justified that interventions are fit for purpose, provide good performance and offer value for money. The system and the objective data generated has now become part of the daily routine practiced by hospitals, and provides evidence of due diligence.

Earlier adopters such as North Tees and Hartlepool Trust have shown a consistent and marked improvement in cleanliness and reductions in infection rates since its introduction in 2008. The results have shown a >20% improvement in pass rates and a large reduction in fail scores to fewer than 5% with a corresponding decrease of 35% in C. difficile cases and a 39% reduction in infections per 10,000 occupied bed days.

Monitoring officers, independent from nursing and environmental services staff, are assigned to act as project champions for individual facilities, reporting to departmental managers wherever poor cleaning has been discovered and where corrective action is required. Monthly reports are circulated for cross-functional team meetings of nursing, facilities and infection control staff. This allows for open discussions on all cleaning and maintenance related issues and stimulates actions for improvement.

The Hygiena SystemSURE Plus received the highest recommendation for the Dept of Health and Public Health England’s Rapid Review Panel in 2009 and it has many different applications within hospitals including the routine testing of patient room, identification of hotspots and hazard management, training of cleaning staff, and hand wash training and verification.

The benefits of the ATP cleaning verification system include a dramatic improvement in hospital cleanliness, optimised cleaning performance and personnel training, increased productivity, commitment and morale of cleaning staff and reduced infections rates.
Similar improvements have been seen in the USA where the CDC also recommends the use of ATP as part of the monitoring tool kit for environmental cleaning.

The NHS spends hundreds of millions of pounds on cleaning each year but relies on a highly subjective visual assessment to measure its delivery despite the advice from the National Institute for Health Research that this is of ‘questionable value’. Visual inspection can only detect gross lapses of practice in hospital cleaning of which <40% are actually delivered in accordance with policies (Carling 2010).

Hygiene believes it is time to get a better understanding and control of cleaning to start saving time, money and lives and ATP SystemSURE has been shown to provide the answer.