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This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

Q&A: Water fixtures should be prominent in infection control plan

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May 20, 2021

by Brian Ward

It’s common knowledge that healthcare water systems can be a source of healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) if not cleaned properly. Just ask any of the facilities that found themselves dealing with a Legionella outbreak among patients.

Or you can ask CMS and other regulators who will be hunting for traces of bacteria, mold, and fungi in your water supply. They will inform you if they find any, and you will not be happy about it.

While we’ve written a lot about the role of plumbing in water infection control, the most common point of contact patients have with water is through showerheads, faucets, and ice machines. Just wiping down the outside of these fixtures isn’t enough to prevent the spread of infection.

We spoke with Michael Castro, MPH, director of services at Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, about infection control for water fixtures and what steps healthcare facilities can take to improve.

This Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity.

It’s common knowledge that healthcare water systems can be a source of healthcare-acquired infections (HAI) if not cleaned properly. Just ask any of the facilities that found themselves dealing with a Legionella outbreak among patients.

Or you can ask CMS and other regulators who will be hunting for traces of bacteria, mold, and fungi in your water supply. They will inform you if they find any, and you will not be happy about it.

While we’ve written a lot about the role of plumbing in water infection control, the most common point of contact patients have with water is through showerheads, faucets, and ice machines. Just wiping down the outside of these fixtures isn’t enough to prevent the spread of infection.



This is an excerpt from a member-only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe.

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