McKnight’s reported on a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control. The study found that more than 90% of “high-touch” surfaces in nursing homes have fecal matter and other organic substances. “High-touch” surfaces means handrails, doorknobs, and safety equipment. Gross.
The researchers found that surfaces touched by patients and visitors were twice as likely to have high levels of ATP compared to those touched primarily by nursing and janitorial staff or by patients alone.
Researchers in South Carolina including lead author Jennifer Cannon, Ph.D., of the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used crAssphage as a fecal contamination indicator. CrAssphage is a DNA bacteriophage that indicates past or present fecal contamination.
“Increasingly, hospitals are performing routine audits of high-touch surface cleanliness, helping to reduce morbidity and mortality among residents,” she said. “Our results suggest similar auditing programs would benefit LTC facilities when included as part of their infection prevention programs.”