Cleaning Hospital Room Surfaces to Prevent Health Care–Associated Infections

Jennifer H. Han, ask Nancy Sullivan, Brian F. Leas, David A. Pegues,  Janice L. Kaczmarek,  and Craig A. Umscheid have just published an article in Annals of Internal Medicine reviewing the effectiveness of hard surface cleaning methods to prevent hospital acquired infections, and a brief video summary.  They looked at over 80 reports covering a wide range of technologies including hydrogen peroxide chemical wipes and room foggers, to UV light, and found that many reports claim improvement as judged from bacteria counts on surface and after treatment. However, very few of the reports used randomized studies, few compared the outcome for patients (risk a hospital acquired infection) and very few compared the success rate of the different technologies. With over 722,000 hospital acquired infections and 75,000 deaths in the US every year, everyone agrees with the authors that more and better research is needed.