As clean as it looks - Using Flourescent marker audits to evaluate cleaning efficacy

Tuesday, 15 March, 2016

Current Department of Health (UK) guidance states that surfaces in wards should be ‘visually clean’ and free of ‘dirt, dust and debris’, but when bacteria are nearly 600 times smaller than a grain of sand is this measure effective? Research has demonstrated that quantitative methods of assessing cleanliness are far superior to reliance on visual methods and are comparable with microbiological methods, which are considered to be the gold standard (Luick, Thompson et al. 2013). This study undertook simultaneous assessment of surfaces after environmental cleaning using an invisible fluorescent marker, ATP and visual checks and compared them with aerobic colony counts. Both ATP and the fluorescent marker provided a high positive predictive value (90%) and the visual check had a PPV of just 9%. This builds on work by Al-Hamad et al. in 2008, which reported that out of 82% of sites considered visually clean, only 30% were bacteriologically clean. Fluorescent marking of surfaces is relatively new to many parts of the world, however a number of papers from the USA have been published that indicate the potential for this as a monitoring tool (Carling, Briggs et al. 2006). Surfaces are marked with an invisible water-soluble marker and then checked for residual dye once cleaning has taken place. A recent study by Rutala (Rutala, et al. 2013) claims that “fluorescent marker is a better tool than ATP in determining how thoroughly a surface is wiped and mimics the microbiological data better than ATP”.

UV-Torch-kitCarling, the pioneer of UV-based auditing in environmental hygiene, demonstrated the effectiveness in studies undertaken in high-risk clinical areas in which over 50% of surfaces were found not to have been cleaned despite two patients passing through single occupancy rooms, concluding that “the use of a fluorescent marker system in ICUs in multiple hospitals resulted in 40% more surfaces being cleaned effectively”.
GAMA Healthcare, the manufacturer of Clinell, the most trusted infection control wipes in the UK, are proud to introduce the new Clinell EvaluClean system. The system comes with two fluorescent marker pens, fluorescent powder, an ultraviolet (UV) torch and our brand new EvaluClean audit software which can be used as both an educational tool and a way to evaluate and audit cleanliness.
The Clinell EvaluClean system is simple. Use the fluorescent pens to discreetly mark equipment and surfaces within a room, record their exact location with the touch of a screen and after cleaning use the torch to assess whether the invisible fluorescent gel has been removed. The unique EvaluClean software quickly and easily records the efficiency of the cleaning and generates detailed reports immediately.
UV_audit_visuals_reportingThe Clinell EvaluClean fluorescent gel pens have been rigorously tested to ensure that they remain wipeable from all non-porous hospital surfaces. The powerful 28-LED torch has a specific UV wavelength that provides excellent mark visibility.
UV_audit_visuals_marking_the-_roomOur unique auditing software system is an app delivered on a tablet and is customisable and remarkably flexible to your needs. You can select the equipment and surfaces you wish to monitor from the existing database, or add and store new ones with the tablet camera. Record when and where you have marked the equipment or surface with the UV torch and then receive reminders when to check them. The app provides you with the opportunity to record the specific cleaners ID, the ‘type of clean’, the ‘type of room’ and even whether the mark has only been partially removed.
UV_audit_visuals_settings_pageThe Clinell EvaluClean software provides the user with the ability to instantly monitor hospital wide trends, compare performance against set benchmarks and generate bespoke, attractive and easy to understand reports. The powerful reporting software allows the user to filter results to specific wards, rooms, items, type of clean and room type if required.
UV_audit_visuals_assessing_the_roomThe Clinell EvaluClean system is the most advanced and flexible method available to evaluate environmental cleanliness and it is available FREE to all Clinell users (subject to minimum spend).
amcla-logoFor more information visit Or call (03) 5976 1555 or email
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