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Hygiena International has recently won a tender to supply all the Scottish NHS boards with a new weapon for their armoury in the fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAI).
The Hygiena SystemSURE Plus ATP monitoring system is now being introduced throughout the Scottish NHS from board level. Domestic and hotel services will use the Hygiena SystemSURE Plus ATP monitoring systems as a training tool and to check the cleanliness of patient areas within hospitals. The handheld, lightweight Hygiena instruments can provide a numerical result in seconds to show how clean or dirty a surface is. This enables the boards to monitor the cleaning effectiveness of both the hospital environment and of the many types of patient equipment in use.
The Hygiena SystemSURE Plus was selected from other ATP systems following thorough trials carried out in Scotland.
Commenting on the importance of addressing infections in Scottish hospitals, the Scottish health secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, said, “Tackling healthcare-associated infections is my top priority because it is vital that the public have confidence in the care they will receive if they need hospital treatment.”
ATP hygiene monitoring is a well-established, proven technology that is now becoming more wide-spread throughout the healthcare sector. Visual assessment of cleaning is subjective and can be unreliable. SystemSURE supports existing quality audits and training programs by providing objective measurements and hard evidence that cleaning has been effective.
The monitor, which has widespread applications throughout the healthcare sector to monitor patient areas, can be used as a training tool in hand washing, as a troubleshooting aid following outbreaks of infection and also as a routine check in other areas such as sterile and catering services departments.
The system comes with state-of-the-art data management software that trends standards and assesses areas of concern. Many hospitals have now determined a monthly programme of hygiene inspections using the Hygiena SystemSURE Plus. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust set up routine monitoring in May 2007 and every clinical in-patient area has regular swabbing undertaken on a monthly basis.
The palm sized SystemSURE instrument works by detecting the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a biochemical found in all living organisms and biological residues. If ATP is detected on a cleaned surface it means that the cleaning was not effective and the surface is potentially a hazard for the spread of germs. The ATP method is quick, simple and easy to do. A swab is taken of the area to be tested and is then inserted into the hand held instrument. The result is interpreted automatically and can be displayed within a matter of seconds as a simple ‘pass’, ‘caution’ or ‘fail’ display.
Rachel Scott, business development manager for Hygiena International, said, “We are delighted to be working with NHS Scotland where Hygiena’s product is the system of choice. Scotland is proactive by adopting new technologies in its moves towards more continuous measurable improvements. The ATP monitor provides immediate feedback on the efficiency of cleaning. It detects the invisible contamination that potentially carries infectious agents and will certainly assist Scotland in its ongoing fight against infection.”
The Hygiena SystemSURE Plus is successfully marketed throughout 80 countries worldwide. Combined with Hygiena’s Ultrasnap sampling devices, it has become the premier system for hygiene monitoring not only in the medical and healthcare markets, but also in food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical manufacture, together with water treatment when combined with the company’s Aquasnap sampling device.
The instrument incorporates stable photodiode technology, and offers >50% saving compared to competitors’ equipment. Simple keypad operation with LCD screen display is combined with storage capacity for 250 sample locations, a choice of 20 sampling plans and up to 50 named system users. Easy data download to PC with user-friendly report writing for trend analysis means the system is easy to use and virtually maintenance-free.
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