Meyer J, et al. Am J Infect Control 2020.
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the role of hospital-acquired infections in spreading epidemics. Adequately cleaning surfaces in patient rooms is an essential part of this fight to reduce the spread. Traditional audits, however, are insufficient. This study assesses surface cleaning practices using UV marker technology and the extent to which this technology can help improve cleaning audits and practices.
METHODS: 144 audits (1,235 surfaces) were retrieved. UV marker cleaning audits conducted at a major teaching hospital in 2018 after implementing a new cleaning protocol. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with cleaning staff and supervisors.
RESULTS: On average, 63% of surfaces were appropriately cleaned. Toilet handles (80%) and toilet seats underside (83%) scored highest while main room sink fixtures (54%), light switch (55%) and bedrails (56%) scored lowest. Training, staffing and time constraints may play a role in low cleaning rates.
DISCUSSION: The high-touch patient surfaces in the bedroom remain neglected and a potential source of infections. UV marker audits provided an objective measure of cleaning practices that managers and staff were unaware of.
CONCLUSION: UV markers audits can play a key role in revealing deficiencies in cleaning practices and help in raising awareness of these deficiencies and improving cleaning practices.