Focus: Infection Control

How clean are healthcare facilities?

January 28, 2019

Evidence suggests that hospital surfaces, floors, sheets, sinks, curtains and equipment are contaminated with pathogens that can serve as sources of infection, according to an article on the Medscape website. 

Thorough environmental cleaning is required to ensure that hospital surfaces, equipment, and linens are safe for patient use and to prevent transmission of such pathogens as C difficile. With the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens and an increasing focus on patient safety, environmental cleaning and disinfection have come to the forefront. Key concerns include:

• High-touch surfaces that are handled frequently by various users, causing them to become more contaminated.

• Hospital privacy curtains around patient beds are at high risk for cross-contamination, because they are high-touch surfaces and may not be cleaned or changed frequently. 

• Commercial washing machines failed to remove all traces of C difficile from hospital linens. 

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