In the great work presented in Options for Evaluating Environmental Cleaning, December 2010 by Alice Guh, MD, MPH and Philip Carling, MD, objective monitoring of environmental surfaces was studied and presented as a necessary component of training. In view of the evidence that transmission of many healthcare acquired pathogens (HAPs) is related to contamination of near-patient surfaces and equipment, all hospitals are encouraged to develop programs to optimize the thoroughness of high touch surface cleaning as part of terminal room cleaning at the time of discharge or transfer of patients. A two level approach to this is presented and quite well discussed.
For now please draw your attention to the 8 locations above. The importance of targeted cleaning to these surfaces must be taught to your staff and reinforced on a regular basis. While many of our staff have an excellent understanding of the basic policies and procedures involved in terminal room cleaning, most will benefit from focused educational interventions related to our evolving understanding of the role of the environment in healthcare-associated pathogen (HAP) transmission. Specific targeted cleaning will not only reduce HAI’s it will greatly increase the awareness level of your staff.