Past posts on this blog have detailed the risks that you may face of acquiring an infection while you are a patient in any of the hospitals or medical centers in Queens. Controlling these risks may, from an outside perspective, seem relatively simple: just make sure all hospital rooms and treatment areas remain clean. However, given the complexity of infection control (particularly in areas where disease-causing pathogens are present in high concentrations, such as hospitals), ensuring that everything is “clean” may be easier said than done.
Study information recently shared by the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals some potentially alarming facts about just how clean the hospital room you are staying in may be. The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of current hospital cleaning methods. Yet rather than pinpointing a correct way to clean, the study revealed a somewhat unsettling notion that in clinical settings, there is no set standard to define what is “clean.” The assumption is that continuously cleaning a surface meets cleanliness standards. However, the study points out that reducing the risk of pathogen transmission should be driving force behind cleaning standards rather than the mere appearance of clean surfaces.
This leads to another problem uncovered by the study, which is a gap between cleaning and disinfecting product real world applications compared to manufacturer recommendations. The suggested application guidelines that come with cleaning products are often determined in controlled laboratory environments rather than actual clinical settings. Thus, it is difficult to know if following those guidelines when cleaning rooms and surfaces in hospitals actually delivers the benefits promised by manufacturers.
This information should not deter you from seeking treatment in a hospital. However, it may prompt you to inquire as to what advanced infection control methods a facility may employ.