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Am J Infect Control. 2014 May;42(5):490-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2014.01.013.

Environmental cleaning resources and activities in Canadian acute care hospitals.

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Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Quinte Health Care, Belleville, Canada. Electronic address:
Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Canadian Association of Environmental Management, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Homewood Health Centre, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.



Environmental cleaning interventions have increased cleaning effectiveness and reduced antibiotic-resistant organisms in hospitals. This study examined cleaning in Canadian acute care hospitals with the goal of developing strategies to improve cleaning and reduce antibiotic-resistant organism rates.


Managers most responsible for environmental services (EVS) completed an extensive online survey that assessed EVS resources and cleaning practices.


The response rate was 50.5%; 96 surveys were completed, representing 103 of 204 hospitals. Whereas 86.3% (82/95) of managers responsible for EVS reported their staff was adequately trained and 76.0% (73/96) that supplies and equipment budgets were sufficient, only 46.9% (45/96) reported that EVS had enough personnel to satisfactorily clean their hospital. A substantial minority (36.8%, 35/95) of EVS departments did not audit the cleaning of medical surgical patient rooms on at least a monthly basis. Cleaning audits of medical surgical patient rooms frequently included environmental marking methods in only one third (33.3%, 31/93) of hospitals and frequently included the measurement of residual bioburden in only 13.8% (13/94).


There was a general need for increased and improved auditing of environmental cleaning in Canadian hospitals, and there were perceived EVS staffing deficits in the majority of hospitals.


Clostridium difficile; Environmental services; Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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