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{Past Event} - Green Cleaning – Focus on Disinfectants

October 13, 2006 - 2:00 pm - October 13, 2006 - 2:00 pm -- Eastern Standard Time


Medical errors and hospital-acquired infections cause more deaths than automobile accidents or AIDS or breast cancer. In a health care setting, control of infectious organisms is essential. Disinfectants are important tools for meeting that need. But because they are necessarily toxic to living organisms, disinfectants must be handled carefully, used appropriately and managed properly, to avoid causing unintentional harm as they fulfill their intended function. Proper disinfection requires oversight, education and monitoring - in short - control. A process in place for product selection and review, staff training, quality control and monitoring is critical. Conversely, overuse and misuse of cleaners and disinfectants could result in employee exposure, poor quality of cleaning, negative environmental impact and damage to equipment. In creating a healing environment, facilities should take a close look at processes in place for disinfection, working towards safer methods for patients, staff, the environment and public health. Creating a safe environment for workers and staffers alike and maintaining infection control can go hand in hand! But sometimes knowing what product or system to use is challenging. Where is the guidance on reducing the toxicity of the cleaning process, but maintaining quality infection control protocol? How do we identify which areas and items that should be disinfected? What kind of training do staffers need? What about isolation rooms and operating rooms? Fear can often lead to the perception that more is better and overuse of disinfectants is running rampant, but we also know that over disinfecting does not reduce infection rates. How do we find a balance between safety and health?

Takehome Value

This teleconference will review the options for disinfection of surfaces and high touch equipment including operating rooms and isolation rooms so that listeners can go back and work with existing or create a committee to review cleaning protocols and work towards a less toxic method of maintaining the cleanliness of a facility.

Additional Resources


Janet Brown, H2E
Janet Brown joined Hospitals for a Healthy Environment as Partner Coordinator in 2004. Janet works with “partner” facilities across the nation in their environmental goal setting and program implementation. Janet is on the Steering Committee of the H2E-Sponsored Green Guide for Health Care, a self-certifying tool to improve healthcare’s design, construction, and daily operations. Janet writes a column “Greening Your Practice” for Holistic Primary Care, a magazine for primary care physicians. Janet coordinated health care environmental management programs for Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City from 1991 – 2004. Beth Israel received numerous awards including the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award in 2001. Janet lives in Amherst, MA with her husband and two children.

David Crimmins, Beth Israel Medical Center
Telephone: 212/420-2853
Mr. Crimmins' nursing experience included ER, Home Care and AIDS in the outpatient setting before joining the Beth Israel Infection Control Department in 1986. Beth Israel is a 600 bed tertiary care facility associated with the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. It is located on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. Committee membership includes the Infection Control Committee, which approves and tracks the use of all products related to disinfection and sterilization. He has worked with Endoscopy and the OR on disinfection and sterilization issues. Mr. Crimmins has been a member of various hospital and community committees involved with product evaluation and worker safety.

Stephen Ashkin, The Ashkin Group
Telephone: 812-332-7950
Steve is a 25 year veteran of the cleaning industry where he has served in a variety of capacities including director of product development, and vice president of sales and marketing for leading consumer goods companies and commercial manufacturers. He has been working on the issue of Green Cleaning since 1990 and a short list of his 'green' credentials includes: Last year, Steve was recognized as the 'Green Building Advocate of the Year' for bringing Green Cleaning to the US Green Building Council's 'LEED for Existing Buildings Program'. And on top of that, Steve was recently recognized by the US EPA as a '2006 Excellence Award Winner' for his work to protect children from environmental risks. Chairing the task force that wrote the national cleaning standard. He was a founding member of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge. He has developed standards for federal agencies including EPA and GSA, as well as for state governments including New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida. He has made over 200 presentations on Green Cleaning at major conferences including CleanMed, ISSA, BSCAI, IEHA, BOMA and IFMA. He has developed programs for voluntary organizations such as the US Green Building Council, Green Seal, Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, and the Healthy Schools Campaign. And he has authored over 250 articles on Green Cleaning and has been a contributing author of 2 books - and he's just signed a new deal with Wiley Publishing to write Green Cleaning for Dummies.

Webinar speakers have no financial or other interest in the sponsoring company and the sponsor has had no input into the content of the presentation.

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