top of page

The Multi-Layered Approach to Break the Infection Transmission Chain:

Understanding the Core Concepts of Disinfection!

By Nathalie Thibault - Certified microbiologist, trainer and certified auditor - Director of the ValkarTech Academy

I regularly tune in to webinars on a variety of topics related to my health and safety expertise, and take notes. So why not share with you what I've learned from my latest webinar and make the world a cleaner place? Good idea! Obviously, this is not a retranscription of the entire content, but rather a summary of the topics covered and my impressions of the latest webinar I attended, on the theme of disinfection, presented by ISSA and PDI Healthcare.

The heart of the topic was based on a multi-layered intervention to break the chain of transmission in facilities. The webinar took the form of a lively conversation and exchange of questions between four disinfection experts, with an obvious emphasis on healthcare environments.

The first thing that caught my attention was one of the answers to the question: Why is disinfection important? »

Of course, there were plenty of good answers: the cost of keeping infected patients in hospital longer, the risks of transmitting infections to visitors, employees, etc.

However, I was particularly pleased to hear one of the panelists raise what I believe is the most important element of disinfection: germs survive and can multiply for months or even years on surfaces! If there are surfaces that you don't clean regularly, germs stay alive and active there for a long time! This is a notion I'm constantly repeating in my training courses, and one that needs to be instilled in all sanitary maintenance staff, whatever the environment (offices, schools, shopping centers, etc.)..

One of the guests mentioned that in her workplace, they presented a chart of the survival time of germs on surfaces to the sanitary maintenance workers at the beginning of their training and this chart proved to be very effective to raise workers' awareness of the importance of their work.

Interesting fact: I learned that the Egyptians used wine and vinegar to disinfect. The importance of disinfection is therefore not new (nor a consequence from COVID-19)!

Several judicious (and more contemporary!) advice followed one another. Some may seem like obvious advice to you, but despite their simplicity, they are rarely followed to the letter!

Here is a little reminder to gain efficiency:

  • Pay attention to the compatibility between disinfection and your surfaces. The choice of materials, when designing or renovating your spaces, must be made taking into account the ease of cleaning and disinfection.

  • Don't neglect maintenance and repair. Broken, cracked, scratched, worn surfaces are very difficult places to disinfect and germs proliferate easily.

  • Don't forget the human factor: if it's not easy or accessible, it won't be done.

  • Follow the directions for use on the labels and read the product safety data sheets.

  • It is therefore necessary to ensure that you have the correct labels and identify ALL the bottles of cleaning/disinfectant products.

  • The regulations are different for each country, so keep an eye on what your government offers.

Then they talked about the heart of the webinar title, a layered approach to breaking the infection transmission chain.

Remember that the chain of transmission of infections, which is often referred to when discussing disinfection, includes several stages and several factors. In short, infection prevention is COMPLEX. You need to fight germs layer by layer and take multiple approaches to minimize risk, like:

  • Implement a solid site disinfection program;

  • Take multiple approaches, use multiple products;

  • Have a written, clear and known policy and procedures. Reduce the number of steps to reduce the number of errors;

  • Provide initial training but also encourage ongoing training;

  • Have frequent meetings to encourage exchanges and discussions;

  • The attendants need to feel confident and proud of the work they do.

ValkarTech Academy - Desinfection Training
The Infection Transmission Chain

The training is a ways to get there. It has to be accessible and easy. If employees understand why they do what they do, it is always better. For what? Attendants are also customers or patients!

I admit that I would have taken a lot more at this stage since it was the heart of the title of the webinar. As a conclusion, the Q&A section of the webinar.

What does the future hold for us?

The automation of disinfection with UVC disinfecting robots which represent “another layer” in the disinfection strategy.

Innovation is our ally!

Stay tuned on supplier news. Regularly ask your product supplier what they have new to suggest.

Microfiber vs disposable wipes for equipment disinfection? A panelist says she prefers disposable wipes for simplicity. (Let's not forget that the webinar is sponsored by a company that sells disinfectant products and wipes!)

There were many other topics covered. I recommend this webinar for the quality of the topics covered and for its friendly format. Do not hesitate to watch it and above all, to communicate the importance of disinfection around you!


bottom of page