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Hospital Rooms Not Being Disinfected Properly: Here's Why


Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH, professor, Health Services Administration at Xavier University, and emergency physician at the University of Cincinnati, discusses the reasons behind why hospital rooms are not being disinfected properly.  

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“Time is the big thing, okay? Hospitals are asking Environmental Services (EVS) workers to turn a room over in 20 minutes; that is not possible. If you are truly cleaning and disinfecting every part of that room, it takes almost 30 minutes just to clean the bed.

You’ve got to wipe the tops, the sides of the mattress, the bottom of the mattress, the bed deck, the handrails, up underneath, the wheels—all of that is potentially contaminated. And we’re not doing that; they usually spend about 3 minutes on the bed. Three minutes to disinfect a major piece of equipment.

Also, they use chemicals that don’t kill Clostridium difficile. Quaternary ammonium compound is the most commonly used disinfectant; it does not work for C. diff. It’s been shown not to work for C. diff on hard surfaces, but it clearly isn’t going to work on soft surfaces.”
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