Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Award Winners - September 2017 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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Are Those Stethoscopes Clean? You may be ignoring this common source of pathogens. Y ou're delighted when you see your anesthe- sia providers vig- orously scrubbing their hands for a full 15 seconds. You can be confi- dent that those all-too-common vectors of disease are now spotless. But how many pathogens are still clinging to the stethoscopes hang- ing from their necks? Or to the stethoscope in recovery — the one that's about to contact the skin of your next patient? As healthcare providers, we're frequently reminded of the impor- tance of hand hygiene. But we hear relatively little about the dangers posed by the bacteria that hitch rides on stethoscopes. The issue apparently barely registers a blip in the minds of most providers. At least, that is, if a recent study is representative. The study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, involved 2 hospitalists who served as secret shoppers at an academic teaching hospital (osmag.net/no9ddz). They set out to covertly record incidents of stethoscope hygiene carried out by med students, residents and attend- ing physicians, as they moved from patient to patient over a period of one week. The observers documented 169 opportunities for stetho- scope disinfection. The students and physicians batted zero. 2 2 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 Infection Prevention Linda R. Greene, RN, MPS, CIC, FAPIC • DUAL DISINFECTION Think of stethoscopes as part of a hand hygiene bundle. When one's disinfected, the other should be, too.

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