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This article was originally published as:

Mitchell, B. G., Wilson, F., & Wells, A. (2015). Evaluating environment cleanliness using two approaches: A multi-centred Australian study. Healthcare Infection, 20(3/4), 95-100. doi: 10.1071/HI5009

ISSN: 1835-5617


060502 Infectious Agents| 111003 Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)| 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety| 111716 Preventive Medicine| 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified

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Introduction: A standardised approach to evaluating environmental cleanliness is important to ensure consistency of assessor training, allow benchmarking of results between facilities, ensure consistency of the assessment of the environment and assist in meeting national accreditation standards. This paper describes the development process and the findings of the first 12 months of data following the introduction of a standardised program for evaluating environmental cleanliness within Tasmanian healthcare facilities using two different evaluation methods.

Methods: Evaluation of environmental cleanliness was undertaken as part of a structured program and involved the use of an ultraviolet solution and fluorescent light in addition to a visual assessment. Twelve Tasmanian hospitals participated in this study.

Results: A total of 290 fluorescent light assessments and 232 visual inspections were conducted. Using the fluorescent light assessment, the percentage of correctly cleaned items increased from a baseline of 82.3% to 85.4% over the 12-month study period. Using the visual assessment, 92.5% of items were deemed acceptable during the study period.

Conclusions: Our multi-centred study identified a high baseline level of cleanliness using a fluorescent light. We identified that objects were frequently deemed to be visually acceptable, yet may not have been cleaned. The project was supported by a range of online tools for data submission, training tools and a formal assessment of auditors.


Used by permission: CSIRO

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