ATP ... when clean to sight and touch is not enough.
Every high-touch surface in a healthcare facility is different but important to understand in its potential role in HAI outbreaks. Each carries an unknown risk factor for contaminating the hands, bare or gloved. These hands in turn can contaminate other surfaces, hands and even enter the food served to these immune-compromized residents and patients. Grouping these touches, with the HACCP principle in mind, is a good first step - prioritizing those touches that must trigger a hand cleaning event and a specific regimen.
LTC and Acute Care Foodservice serve up unique challenges. Process control is on average very good for the temperature and time factors but poor regarding handwash quality and frequency. Adding to the control issue for foodservice are language skills, culture and the fact that the residents and patients are invited into the dining space which often reaches back to their residence/patient room where so many HAI pathogens thrive. Soiled, contaminated dishes are a pathway back to the kicthen and potentially on to the next meals.
Looking at the number of people affected and the costs associated with just Norovirus outbreaks, should some healthcare surfaces be monitored more closely? Should operators perhaps use ATP technology to both assign numbers to the acceptable cleanliness levels and train the cleaning staff by demonstrating and documenting what clean is - beyond sight and touch. The immediate feedback of an ATP luminometer is a powerful, language-free, training tool.