If we look at the current state of environmental hygiene, what we need to ask ourselves is, Why is cleanliness still such a problem? In the past, hospitals have measured cleanliness using patient satisfaction survey responses. There are several pros and cons of this approach, though satisfaction surveys measure a patients impression of cleanliness, it does not objectively tell whether a surface is clean. This can be dangerous as a surface could look fine but be contaminated with infection-causing pathogens.
Environmental services (ES) managers have until Dec. 31 to nominate the ES professional of their choice for the second annual Hygiene Specialist Excellence award.
A panel discussion, "Improving Patient Outcomes: Building Bridges Between Infection Preventionists and Environmental Services Professionals," was held at the AHE annual conference Sept. 27, 2011. Panel members were William Rutala and Ruth Carrico, as well as Linda Dickey, RN, MPH, CIC; Marita Nash, MBA, CHESP; and Kathy Roye-Horn, RN, CIC. These experts in infection prevention and environmental hygiene discussed disinfection as a patient-safety issue, as well as explored the role of the healthcare environment in pathogen transmission.