If running a nursing home or long term care facility was a horror movie, E.coli would be the monster that never dies. It’s just like Jason and Freddy Kruger. No matter what you do, no matter how many times you clean, it always comes back ready to hurt or kill someone as soon as you let your guard down. The truth is that the vast majority of facilities take heroic measures to keep E.coli in check and their residents healthy, but like with any battle, it takes more than just putting up a good fight. You also have to fight smart.
Anyone who has worked in this field quickly learns that there are two primary places where E.coli is spread. One is soiled briefs, and the other are the communal shower or bathing areas. Changing soiled briefs when they need it, and making sure the patients are cleaned properly is the most effective safeguard against self-contamination. The real challenge is the showers.
Cross contamination between patients in these communal bathing area is the problem. This is why it is so important to keep these areas clean between each patient’s bath. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. Bathing patients and cleaning the shower area still needs to be done in an efficient and cost effective manner. Tying up too many caregivers and resources in bathing isn’t good for the residents or the facility. The best solution is to have disinfecting shower cabinets installed in all the bathing areas. These disinfecting cabinets make it to where a CNA can quickly, easily, and thoroughly clean the shower and bathing equipment between uses. They don’t have to go for a cleaning cart, or have the cleaning supplies get in the way during the bath. The flow of patients remains steady, and they remain safe. It becomes a seamless part of the bathing process.
E.coli will always be that monster that keeps rearing its ugly head, and every day is going to be yesterday’s sequel. We can fight it though. An integrated disinfecting shower cabinet lets you send those E.coli monsters to meet their maker no matter how many times they come back. It’s a simple choice. Not only will keeping residents free from cross-contamination based UTIs raise a facility’s Quality Measures, it will make the lives of the patients more comfortable which is what matters most.