In early March, 2011, I presented a webinar in Critical Issues Online Seminar Series-Infection Control for CMM magazine. We encouraged the listeners to submit questions that I then answered. Here are just a few of the questions and answers:
“When you recommend the ATP meter, are you assuming that viral contamination will change in proportion to the bacterial contamination?”
ALet’s talk about soil removal. Washing or scrubbing a surface physically removes soil and organic material such as blood and body fluids, and takes with it almost ALL the germs contained in the soil or organic materials.
The guiding principle is always to remove germs if possible rather than try to kill them.
That being said, ATP does not measure either viral or bacterial contamination. ATP meters are hand-held and provide a quick, accurate measurement of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy molecule inside all living cells. ATP is found in bacteria, mold, fungus and other organic matter that can provide a rich food source for pathogens.
In short, by providing feedback in less than 30 seconds, ATP meters enable cleaning professionals to verify how clean surfaces are with respect to organic matter, and to carry out continuous improvement programs to enhance overall performance.