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Dos and don’ts for hospital cleaning

Dancer, Stephanie J.



Purpose of review: More evidence is emerging on the role of cleaning and decontamination for reducing hospital-acquired infection. Timely and adequate removal of environmental pathogens leads to measurable clinical benefits for patients. This article considers studies published from 2013 examining hospital decontamination technologies and evidence for cost-effectiveness.

Recent findings: Novel biocides and cleaning products, antimicrobial coatings, monitoring practices and automated equipment are widely accessible. They do not necessarily remove all environmental pathogens, however, and most have yet to be comprehensively assessed against patient outcome. Some studies are confounded by concurrent infection control and/or antimicrobial stewardship initiatives. Few contain data on costs.

Summary: As automated dirt removal is assumed to be superior to human effort, there is a danger that traditional cleaning methods are devalued or ignored. Fear of infection encourages use of powerful disinfectants for eliminating real or imagined pathogens in hospitals without appreciating toxicity or cost benefit. Furthermore, efficacy of these agents is compromised without prior removal of organic soil. Microbiocidal activity should be compared and contrasted against physical removal of soil in standardized and controlled studies to understand how best to manage contaminated healthcare environments.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 1, 2016
Publication Date 2016-08
Deposit Date Sep 21, 2016
Journal Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Print ISSN 0951-7375
Electronic ISSN 1473-6527
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 4
Pages 415-423
Keywords decontamination; detergent; disinfectant; environment; hospital cleaning
Public URL
Contract Date Sep 21, 2016