How Clean is Your Practice?

One of the most talked about subjects of recent months is the threat of MRSA.


MRSA is not on its own though! The presence of other nasty bacteria like Coliform Organisms, Haemolytic Streptococci, Bordetella, Pseudomonas and Staphylococci, including MRSA, present a constant threat to veterinary practice and most importantly their patients.

What can practices do to protect themselves against these headline grabbing threats? The simple answer is good cleaning and hygiene practices.

Ensuring effective cleaning regimes can be challenging especially when you are attacking a presence that cannot be seen. Greendale has been offering its environmental screening service, Surgery Screen, for over 12 months now and reports back to a staggering number of practices that they have not met 'clean' status. Surprisingly for veterinary staff, clinics that appear spotless often report very concerning results when swabs have been taken to determine the microbiological status.

MRSA Testing

It is not uncommon for us to report the significant presence of MRSA and Pseudomonas. Only when practices know how well they are performing can they make informed decisions about their cleaning protocols, sometimes making changes to disinfectants, regimes, cleaning tools or taking greater care to get the basics correct. By re-testing after these changes have been made the level of success can be measured and evaluated.

Many of our customers using the Surgery Screen service do so only after problems with post-operative infections, however, it is now becoming more popular and sensible to act pro-actively and screen your clinic on a regular basis. Greendale recommend that veterinary staff screen their practices every 3 months and when a 'clean' report is issued will send the practice a certificate to be prominently displayed that proudly demonstrates that the practice provide gold standard levels of hygiene.

How Clean is Your Practice

Greendale's Surgery Screen kit comes with everything you need to effectively test your practice environment, it involves taking swabs of 12 critical control points and using settle plates to test airborne bacterial load. Easy to follow instructions are provided and a list of suggested critical control points makes the process quick and simple. Surgery Screen is an inexpensive testing option at £99.00 exc. VAT per kit

Just as a footnote, it is estimated that 1 in 3 people are carrying MRSA - it's presence is not questionable - the issue for practices is how well are you dealing with it and are your patients being exposed to it under circumstances that may risk their health.

MRSA in Veterinary Practice

Vets warned over MRSA in animals (BBC Website)