Evidence that environmental hygiene is important from Clean Hospitals


14th November 2022


We discuss recent publications from Clean Hospitals and their significance for environmental hygiene. Find out the results of their systematic review, including how the impact of environmental hygiene interventions reduce healthcare-associated infections.

What is Clean Hospitals?

Clean Hospitals is a multi-professional group, bringing together experts from the industry and healthcare sector to collaborate on various workstreams aimed at improving the awareness of the importance of environmental hygiene in healthcare.

The programme is built on the success of WHO-led hand hygiene and healthcare collaborations. Clean Hospitals has been active in the past few months with multiple presentations at the Infection Prevention 2022 conference in Bournemouth and also the Clean Hospitals Day which was hosted in Geneva on 20th October.

Related article: Highlights from Clean Hospitals Day International Conference

Environmental hygiene is key to preventing the spread of microorganisms

Clean Hospitals has produced a number of recent publications, including a publication on how environmental hygiene is a key measure to prevent the spread of microorganisms that can cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). A separate publication found that the organisational-level approach to environmental hygiene is mixed, to say the least!

Systematic review examines the impact of environmental interventions on HAIs

Clean Hospitals scientists have published a systematic review on the impact of environmental hygiene interventions in preventing healthcare-associated infections.

26 articles met the inclusion criteria, and covered a range of environmental hygiene interventions including, mechanical or chemical changes to the cleaning/disinfection process, interventions to improve human behaviour involved in the process, or a combination of the two.

Most of the studies demonstrated a reduction in either HCAI or colonisation with key hospital pathogens, although many of the studies were underpowered to prove this statistically. Most of the study authors concluded that the intervention showed benefit and should be adopted (21/26, 81%).

Healthcare environmental hygiene self-assessment framework

Clean Hospitals have developed a healthcare environmental hygiene self-assessment framework, in order to be able to systematically self-assess their environmental hygiene approach. The framework was piloted by 51 healthcare facilities in 31 countries. The organisations were stratified by income level, to assess whether working in a resource limited setting resulted in a lower level of compliance.

However, the key finding was that all but one of the facilities who participated were found lacking in some or all of the components, regardless of income level. It is hoped that the framework will provide a useful vehicle for improving environmental hygiene programmes around the world.

GAMA is proud to be an industry partner of Clean Hospitals and we look forward to supporting next year’s Clean Hospitals Day. If you’d like to find out about other events the GAMA Healthcare team has attended, visit our Events and Exhibitions section on our blog.



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