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APIC: Hospitals struggle on in C. diff fight
Issues with environmental cleaning
Hospitals have expanded their environmental cleaning programs to respond to the epidemic of Clostridium difficile, but many are unaware whether patient rooms and environmental surfaces are actually being decontaminated, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology reports.
The Association's 13,000 members were asked to complete an online survey designed to determine if additional C. diff interventions have been adopted since the release of APIC's "National Prevalence Study of Clostridium difficile in U.S. Healthcare Facilities" in November 2008. Nearly 1,800 members took the survey; three-quarters of respondents work at acute care facilities. Eighty-six percent of respondents have increased environmental and equipment cleaning and decontamination during the past 18 months, but when asked how they monitor cleaning practices, nearly seven in 10 (69%) said they rely on observation versus more advanced hygiene monitoring technologies. Nearly a quarter (23%) do not monitor the effectiveness or outcomes of environmental cleaning efforts. Other APIC findings include: