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Ontario urged to step up hospital cleaning standards

May 19, 2009
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HAMILTON, ON, Canada — Cleaning staff must be made an integral part of care teams if Ontario hospitals are to reduce infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) and Clostridium difficile (C. diff), according to the Hamilton Spectator.
After going on a national tour organized by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) against hospital-acquired infections (HAI), Steve Davies, a social sciences researcher at Cardiff University in Wales, urged the Ontario government to implement cleaning standards and not to undervalue cleaning and downsize or contract services out, the story stated.
Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said: "The sad reality is people innocently go into these institutions not knowing about the infections there and may not ever come out again. The scale of the tragedy is enormous. The loss is large, but totally preventable."
Some hospitals have increased cleaning frequencies and stepped up patient and visitor awareness by reminding everyone to wash their hands both verbally and through signage, the story noted.
The problem facing many hospitals with budget constraints is that outsourcing is geared toward saving money, while infection control is geared toward saving lives, the story added.
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