Magazine article Health Facilities Management

New Study Finds Problems with Cleaning Research

Magazine article Health Facilities Management

New Study Finds Problems with Cleaning Research

Article excerpt

Despite an abundance of studies examining the impact of patient-room cleaning, disinfection and cleanliness monitoring on health care-associated infections (HAIs), one of the most important questions has never been answered: Which methods are best for preventing infections?

Researchers reviewed 80 studies published in medical literature between 1998 and 2014 on cleaning, disinfection and monitoring methods used in patient rooms, and concluded that there are serious gaps in evidence regarding the best ways to prevent HAIs such as Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus.

Jennifer Han, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and co-lead author of the study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, says future research needs to change its focus.

"Studies need to focus on patient-centered outcomes involving colonization or infection rates, outcomes that are meaningful to patients and providers as well as to health care systems," Han says.

Ultimately, the refocused studies will provide answers to help determine the best methods for disinfection, monitoring and cleaning to help guide those involved in environmental services. …

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