‘Time to clean’: A systematic review and observational study on the time required to clean items of reusable communal patient care equipment

David Scott, Hayley Kane, Annette Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Concerns have been raised over poor standards of hospital cleanliness and insufficient time for staff to clean reusable communal patient care equipment. These items may then act as vectors for the transmission of nosocomial pathogens between hospital patients. Aim: To evaluate the impact of cleaning duration on nosocomial infection rates and estimate the time required to clean care equipment in accordance with national specifications (i.e. a ‘time to clean’). Methods: A systematic review of the published literature on cleaning times and an observational study in which nine healthcare workers cleaned seven items of care equipment while the duration of time taken to clean each item was measured. Results: A limited volume of low-quality evidence indicates that increased cleaning times in hospitals can reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). The mean ‘time to clean’ for care equipment ranged from 166.3 s (95% confidence interval [CI] = 117.8–214.7) for a bed frame to 29.0 s (95% CI = 13.4–44.6) for a blood pressure cuff. Discussion: ‘Time to clean’ estimates for care equipment provide an indication of how much protected time is necessary to ensure acceptable standards of cleanliness. Clinical trials are needed to further evaluate the impact of increased cleaning times on nosocomial infection rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-294
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infection Prevention
Volume18
Issue number6
Early online date4 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Cleaning
  • decontamination
  • environment
  • housekeeping
  • infection control
  • medical equipment

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