An Alternative to Manually Cleaning Bedpans Proves Simple and Effective at Reducing HAIs

Manual cleaning of collection containers — such as bedpans, male urinals, and commode pails — is today's dominant protocol in U.S. healthcare facilities. However, multiple clinical studies demonstrate that this method is ineffective and costly, not to mention unpleasant for those tasked with cleanup.

No matter how dedicated your hospital’s environmental services team is, current cleaning standards simply can’t guarantee complete disinfection. Manual cleaning of bedpans, or other collection containers, unnecessarily exposes patients and caregivers to waste. Spills and splashes — common while bedpans are transported for measuring and cleaning — contaminate floors, counters, and other hospital environments.

Spreading Infection

Managing patient waste is never pleasant, but if the waste is infected it can have a material, detrimental impact on the health of your patients and staff, as well as the hospital’s finances.

C. diff, the most common healthcare-associated infection (HAI), adds a total of 2.4 million inpatient hospital days every year and costs hospitals nearly $35k for every case contracted on site.

2.4 million

total annual C. diff-related
inpatient hospital days11

$4.8 billion

annual costs for acute
care facilities alone12

$34,157

average cost per case
of hospital-onset C. diff13

Even after a manual cleaning, studies show that hospital environments still test positive for C. diff. Even worse, C. diff can survive up to five months on inanimate surfaces extending the risk window for infection14.

 

A Simple and Safe Alternative

The implementation of single-use, absorbent bedpan liners is a simple change in hospital protocol that immediately contains patient waste and, in conjunction with other best practices, is proven to drastically reduce HAIs, including C. diff.

The use of liners follows the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) Hierarchy of Controls, which shows that the most effective way to protect individuals is to physically remove the hazard15. In the case of Cleanis’ CareBag® Bedpan & Commode Pail Liner with Super-Absorbent Pad, patient waste is absorbed into the pad, sealed, and disposed of according to hospital guidelines. Containing waste at the sources protects patients, staff, and environments from exposure and potential infection.

A Chatham-Kent Health Alliance clinical study of the CareBag® showed a 61% reduction in infection rates. Further, it greatly simplified the waste managing protocol for nurses caring for infected patients — reducing the number of steps from 20 to nine16.

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