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Study: Dedicated daily cleaning reduces C. difficile contamination

April 10, 2013

WASHINGTON — New research finds that a dedicated daily cleaning crew who adequately clean and disinfect rooms contaminated by Clostridium difficile (C. diff) using a standardized process can be more effective than other disinfection interventions, according to a press release.

The study is published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, in a special topic issue focused on the role of the environment in infection prevention, the release stated.

According to the release, during a 21-month period, researchers conducted a prospective intervention study at the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center through three intervention sequences including:

  1. The use of fluorescent markers applied to high-touch surfaces in patient rooms to provide monitoring and feedback on thoroughness of cleaning
  2. Utilization of an automated ultraviolet (UV) radiation device as a complementary disinfection strategy used after cleaning
  3. An enhanced disinfection process composed of a dedicated daily disinfection team and a process requiring supervisory assessment and clearance of terminally-cleaned C. difficile infected rooms.

To determine the effectiveness of the interventions, cultures were obtained from rooms contaminated with C. diff after cleaning and disinfection; the fluorescent marker intervention modestly improved the disinfection of high-touch surfaces over traditional cleaning practices (57 percent versus 67 percent), the release noted.

“Healthcare facilities are increasingly turning to automated room disinfection devices as a strategy to optimize environmental disinfection. With effective monitoring and feedback, motivated environmental services personnel can achieve results that rival or surpass many of the automated devices,” said Curtis Donskey, MD, staff physician at Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affair Medical Center and an author of the study.

Click here to read the release in its entirety.