Environmental Cleaning for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Environmental Cleaning for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections, a new AHRQ-funded report, says cleaning of hard surfaces in hospital rooms is a critical step to reducing the risk of healthcare-associated infections, but there is little evidence about what cleaning methods work best.

The report includes a review of 80 clinical studies from the last 25 years that address environmental cleaning of high-touch surfaces in hospital rooms to reduce Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. The researchers found limited studies that directly compare disinfection methods, monitoring strategies, or implementation efforts. To advance research in this area, recommendations for future areas of study include examination and comparison of emerging strategies, inclusion of patient colonization, and infection rates as outcomes and identification of surfaces posing the greatest risk of pathogen transmission.

A summary of the report was published August 10 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Select to access Environmental Cleaning for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections.

Page last reviewed August 2015
Internet Citation: Environmental Cleaning for the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections. August 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/ehc-newreview.html