Monday, June 3, 2019

Heightened Environmental Cleaning: Necessary Yet Not Sufficient

We strive for improved environmental cleaning as a strategy for
preventing healthcare associated infections.

Finally, a randomized multi-center trial that assesses a pragmatic cleaning bundle on patient centered outcomes. This paper is published in Lancet Infectious Diseases. A bundled approach with training, audit and feedback for daily room disinfection resulted in improvements in cleaning processes.  Healthcare associated infection outcome reduction was modest, with reductions seen only on VRE infections.  No impact was observed on S.aureus bacteremia and C.difficile infection. Disappointing.

Novel technologies, such as UVC disinfection, also fail to provide significant infection prevention benefits, as summarized here in this review article.

I come to this conclusion: heightened disinfection in the hospital is necessary yet not sufficient for significant reductions in healthcare associated infections. There is no magic disinfection bullet. Only a comprehensive, horizontal infection prevention program will minimize infections from exogenous pathogens.

The next barrier is to better understand and prevent healthcare associated infections from our own microbiome.