For almost a year, we’ve heard of and referred to “the new normal.” Needless to say, as the current crisis persists alongside other existing pathological threats, the phrase has lost its novelty. As infection preventionists gather at next month’s Cleaning, Disinfection, and Sterilization Conference, it’s “the next normal” that should frame the discussion – a phrase we find more fitting to describe the way to think about the present and the future.
“The next normal” demands that the search for novel technologies continues – if it had even started to begin with. So many of the infection prevention technologies utilized over the last 18 months or so may have felt new to the general public, but most of what was happening was traditional technologies being used in new spaces, applied or marketed in new ways, or brought out of the background and into the foreground.
The market is flush with HEPA filters, ultraviolet light, vaporizers and other disinfecting units. They are tried and true, not exactly innovative, and all primarily address the same two areas – air and hard surfaces. Many of them leave room for human error. That begs the question, how much truly novel technology was really implemented in the clinical setting? How much of the change in infection control protocol was about shifting practices, better adherence to existing measures, and changes to personnel and frequency?
While we’re talking about questions… with all this being said, here’s the questions we challenge infection preventionists to habitually ask themselves: “What am I not yet addressing? What else is out there? How can I be doing more?”
We’ll get you started with some answers. Perhaps you haven’t shored up the cleanliness of your soft surfaces – privacy curtains, gowns, bedlinens – like you should. Maybe you haven’t yet investigated the only EPA-registered residual antimicrobial laundry additive on the market with public health claims, a technology that actively slows the bioburden of soft surfaces while they are in use. When it comes to planning for “the next normal,” SilvaClean technology is a good place to start.