Environmental surfaces in hospital rooms often become contaminated with microbes, and evidence has linked the patient care environment to transmission of potential pathogens. Despite attempts at standardization of training and cleaning techniques, there is great variation between housekeepers with regard to room cleaning practices. Environmental cleanliness can be assessed by direct observation, surface cultures, detection of adenosine triphosphate, or use of a fluorescent marking solution. Each monitoring technique has limitations.
We participated in a multicenter study that demonstrated improved cleaning of high-touch surfaces through the use of a fluorescent marking solution and rapid-cycle performance feedback. As part of an earlier study, housekeepers were instructed about the importance of environmental cleanliness and appropriate cleaning of high-touch surfaces, and a room cleaning checklist was introduced. In this study, we sought to examine the relationship between the amount of time that a housekeeper spent cleaning a hospital room and the thoroughness of surface cleaning.