An international survey of cleaning and disinfection practices in the healthcare environment



      Antimicrobial resistance has become an urgent global health priority. Basic hygiene practices and cleaning and disinfection of the hospital environment are key in preventing pathogen cross-transmission.


      To our knowledge no studies have assessed the worldwide differences in cleaning and disinfection practices in healthcare facilities. The electronic survey described here was developed in order to evaluate differences in healthcare facility cleaning practices around the world.


      The International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC, formerly ISC), Infection Prevention and Control work group developed a survey with 30 multiple-choice questions. The questions were designed to assess the current cleaning practices in healthcare settings around the world.


      A total of 110 healthcare professionals, representing 23 countries, participated in the online survey. In 96% of the facilities a written cleaning policy was present. Training of cleaning staff occurred in 70% of the facilities at the start of employment. Cleaning practices and monitoring of these practices varied.


      The survey enabled assessment and recognition of widely differing global practices in approaches to environmental cleaning and disinfection. Development of guideline recommendations for cleaning and disinfection could improve practices and set minimum standards worldwide.


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