New JSAP study highlights cleaning shortfalls in practice - Veterinary Practice
Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now

×

New JSAP study highlights cleaning shortfalls in practice

Key surfaces in the small animal veterinary hospital setting are unlikely to be cleaned satisfactorily, potentially posing a risk to both animal and human health

A new study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice (JSAP), found that key surfaces in the small animal veterinary hospital setting are unlikely to be cleaned satisfactorily, potentially posing a risk to both animal and human health.

Fluorescent tagging for environmental surface cleaning surveillance in a veterinary hospital was undertaken by Langdon et al. at The Ohio State University, USA. The research used a fluorescent dye to tag pre-determined surfaces in a large veterinary teaching hospital. The dye was invisible to the naked eye, but fluoresced under a blacklight (UV-A source); it could be easily removed by regular cleaning. Surfaces were tagged and then assessed 24 hours after tag placement to determine whether they had been cleaned. Tagging and assessment took place during non-peak hours in an attempt to eliminate observer bias. The study ran for a period of 5.5 weeks between June and July 2014 and a total of 4984 surfaces were tagged and assessed.

Jason Stull, corresponding author of the paper said: “Overall, 50 percent of surfaces were adequately cleaned so that the tag was completely removed. Cleaning varied widely by surface/object and hospital location. Of the surfaces designated as having primarily human contact, the equipment cart and door handle to the dog walking area were most frequently cleaned (100 percent), whilst examination equipment including the otoscope, ophthalmoscope and swivel light handle were the least frequently cleaned (2.3 percent).

“Of the surfaces designated as having primarily animal contact, the ward cage interior was the most frequently cleaned (89.0 percent) whilst the dog run interior was the least frequently cleaned (23.1 percent). In terms of hospital location, the most frequently cleaned area was radiology (77.5 percent) and the least frequently cleaned area was the small animal treatment area (4.2 percent).”

The overall proportion of surfaces satisfactorily cleaned was similar to that reported in previous studies, however, the findings for some surfaces and hospital areas differed. This demonstrates the importance of veterinary cleaning surveillance in individual practices so that targeted interventions can be implemented.

Nicholas Jeffery, editor of JSAP concluded: “With health-care associated infections being a persistent problem in human and veterinary medicine, it is important that surfaces and equipment within the veterinary practice are adequately cleaned. This research demonstrates the potential use of a commercial fluorescent dye for veterinary cleaning surveillance to inform hospital cleaning practices.”

The full article can be found in the February issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice which is free for BSAVA members. For information on how to become a BSAVA member visit BSAVA’s website.

Veterinary Practice

Improve Veterinary Practice (part of the Improve International Group) is an online knowledge and information hub for veterinary professionals across all specialties. It provides reliable, useful and interesting content, written by expert authors and covering small animal, large animal, exotics, equine and practice management
sectors of the veterinary surgeon and nursing professions.

Improve Veterinary Practice also offers a subscription-based membership, offering CPD courses and much more for the whole veterinary community.

Improve Veterinary Practice exists to inspire and inform your day-to-day work, and enable your ongoing professional development.


More from this author

Have you heard about our
IVP Membership?

A wide range of veterinary CPD and resources by leading veterinary professionals.

Stress-free CPD tracking and certification, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.

Discover more