Improving Hospital Cleaning by Use of UV Powder for Surveillance

Studies have shown that although hospital environmental surfaces are known reservoirs for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) and that exposure to these surfaces has been linked to transfer of bacteria within the hospital environment, improving rates of surface disinfection remains challenging. Carling, et al. used a novel fluorescent compound to evaluate the cleanliness of previously defined hospital room objects at high risk of contamination and found low baseline cleaning rates that improved after weekly feedback.

L. Silvia Munoz-Price MD, of the University of Miami, and colleagues, sought to reproduce this success by using a commercially available ultraviolet (UV) powder and weekly feedback of data by e-mail and to characterize the time course of the realization of measurable benefits and the extinction of benefits after discontinuing feedback.

The researchers applied the UV powder weekly to high-touch objects within patient rooms and inspected after 48 hours. They found a baseline cleaning rate of 41.8 percent that increased up to 80 percent after the establishment of weekly electronic feedback (unit rates and rankings) to personnel in the environmental services department, to hospital leadership, and to unit administrators.Their research was published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

Reference: Munoz-Price LS, Ariza-Heredia E, Adams S, Olivier M, Francois L, Socarras M, Coro G, Adedokun A, Pappas T, Tamayo M, McDade R and Dezfulian C. Use of UV Powder for Surveillance to Improve Environmental Cleaning. Infect Control Hosp Epidem. Vol. 32, No. 3. March 2011.