The Effectiveness of an Infection Control Program in the Radiology Clinic

Kitto, Mariam, Lesley Lin, Veronica Nafso, Christina Yousif, and Kristina Okolisan

The specific aims of this study were to (1) evaluate bacterial contamination in the Radiology Clinic at the School of Dentistry, (2) incorporate an operational written infection control protocol for the student operators, and (3) to reexamine the effectiveness after inclusion.  The Ruhof ATP Complete System was used to measure bacterial contamination on five surfaces in the radiology room: counter top surfaces, control panel sides, exposure button, lead apron and thyroid collar, including the metal hanger, and position indicating device. Step-by-step guideline for decontamination procedures were then posted in the room, along with decontamination wipes and gloves. Following the posting of signage, bacterial contamination was assayed again on the same five surfaces. A significant decrease in bacterial contamination (p < 0.05 comparing the pre- and post-signage values) occurred on three of the five surfaces: counter top, lead apron and thyroid collar, and control panel. Results were most significant with respect to the lead apron and thyroid collar. Pre-signage mean values using the system were 51.5 indicating a fail in infection control. Post-signage mean values were 33.4, indicating a pass in infection control and a clean surface. Implementing instructional guidelines to be utilized for proper infection control showed valid outcomes and it can be concluded from this investigation that this was effective in educating the student operators in the radiology clinic.