Home Hygiene & Health
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March 21st: Four steps to clean hospitals: LOOK, PLAN, CLEAN and DRY

In a new review Stephanie Dancer and Axel Kramer say “Now that cleaning and decontamination are recognized as integral to infection control, it is timely to examine the process in more detail”.

The principles of what they are saying apply equally to home and everyday life. Cleaning practices vary widely within healthcare districts, and it is likely that both time and energy are sometimes needlessly wasted. Furthermore, inadequate cleaning will not reduce the risk of infection but may even enhance it.

This review therefore proposes a simple four-step guide for daily cleaning of the occupied bed space. Step 1 (LOOK) describes a visual assessment of the area to be cleaned; Step 2 (PLAN) argues why the bed space needs preparation before cleaning; Step 3 (CLEAN) covers surface cleaning/decontamination; and Step 4 (DRY) is the final stage whereby surfaces are allowed to dry. Each step is presented, discussed and risk-assessed. They conclude that a systematic cleaning process would reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infection for everyone, including outbreaks, in addition to heightened confidence in overall quality of care.

Dancer SJ, Kramer A, Four steps to clean hospitals: LOOK, PLAN, CLEAN and DRY, Journal of Hospital Infection.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2018.12.015