Evaluation of disinfection of surfaces at an outpatient unit before and after an intervention program

BMC Infect Dis. 2019 Apr 29;19(1):355. doi: 10.1186/s12879-019-3977-4.


Background: Cleaning and disinfection processes must be improved so that there is a reduction in environmental contamination of frequent-contact surfaces. The objective of this study was to evaluate cleaning and disinfection of surfaces at a specialized healthcare unit after an intervention program.

Methods: Exploratory, longitudinal, and correlational study carried out in a medium-complexity clinic. Two hundred and forty samples from five surfaces were collected during three phases: diagnosis; implementation of an intervention program; and evaluation of immediate and long-term effects. In total, 720 evaluations were made, performed through three monitoring methods: visual inspection; adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence assay (ATP); and aerobic colony count (ACC). The Wilcoxon, Mann-Whitney, and Fisher's Exact tests were run to analyze data statistically.

Results: Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces were not being performed properly in most cases. Failure rates of surfaces reached 37.5 and 100% when the ATP and ACC procedures were used, respectively. However, after an intervention program, an improvement occurred. Success rates increased by 43.96% (ATP) and 12.46% (ACC) in phase I, by 70.6% (ATP) and 82.3% (ACC) immediately after interventions, and by 76.52% (ATP) and 85.76% (ACC) two months after the changes, showing that the program was effective.

Conclusion: The present study reveals that implementing intervention actions with a cleaning and healthcare team brings benefits to prevent the spread of pathogenic agents through frequently touched hospital surfaces.

Keywords: Ambulatory care; Disinfection; Health education; Hospital housekeeping; Infection control.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria, Aerobic / cytology
  • Bacteria, Aerobic / isolation & purification
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Housekeeping, Hospital
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Outpatients
  • Statistics, Nonparametric