Educating hospital cleaning staff lowers C. diff infections, study finds

Educating hospital cleaning staff, focusing on knowledge gaps, challenges and barriers, can lead to fewer Clostridium difficile infections, according to a study published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers conducted the study at two academic acute care hospitals, two community hospitals and an academic pediatric and women's hospital. They examined the effect of a five-module educational program on environmental cleaning. The program focused on the concepts of infection prevention strategies and the rationale behind them.

On average, 357 environmental service workers participated in each module.

Most of the environmental service workers (93 percent) rated the modules as "excellent" or "very good," and 95 percent found them useful.

Ninety-one percent of the workers said they were more comfortable donning/doffing personal protective equipment after the program, while 96 percent said they were more comfortable performing hand hygiene and 96 percent better understood the importance of disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

A decrease in C. diff infections was linked to the program.

The frequency of cleaning individual high-touch surfaces in occupied rooms increased from 26 percent before implementation of the program to 62 percent after.

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