The effectiveness of existing and modified cleaning regimens in a Welsh hospital

J Hosp Infect. 2007 Aug;66(4):352-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2007.05.016. Epub 2007 Jul 26.


Hospital cleaning currently has a high media profile. The effectiveness of an existing ward-cleaning regimen was assessed at selected sites over a 14 day period and shown to be highly variable. The cleaning regimen was subsequently modified in two stages, both changes involving a rinse stage and substituting cloths with disposable paper towels. One modification continued using the existing detergent; the other replaced detergent with a quaternary ammonium sanitiser. Both modifications yielded significantly lower and more consistent bacterial counts. Assessment of residual organic soil using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) detection demonstrated that failure rates (measurements exceeding benchmark clean value of 500 relative light units (RLU)) fell from 86-100% after existing cleaning methods, to 0-14% after modified cleaning. Maximum ATP readings fell from 163,870 to 2289 RLU. Incorporating a quaternary ammonium sanitiser into the cleaning regimen produced a further slight, but not significant, improvement in cleaning efficacy. These findings suggest that simple improvements can be made to existing cleaning regimens to increase their efficacy.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial / methods
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Disinfection / standards
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Housekeeping, Hospital / methods*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Wales