Best practices for disinfection of noncritical environmental surfaces and equipment in health care facilities: A bundle approach

Am J Infect Control. 2019 Jun;47S:A96-A105. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.01.014.


Over the past decade, there is excellent evidence in the scientific literature that contaminated environmental surfaces and noncritical patient care items play an important role in the transmission of several key health care-associated pathogens including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Acinetobacter, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile. Thus, surface disinfection of noncritical environmental surfaces and medical devices is one of the infection prevention strategies to prevent pathogen transmission. This article will discuss a bundle approach to facilitate effective surface cleaning and disinfection in health care facilities. A bundle is a set of evidence-based practices, generally 3-5, that when performed collectively and reliably have been proven to improve patient outcomes. This bundle has 5 components and the science associated with each component will be addressed. These components are: creating evidence-based policies and procedures; selection of appropriate cleaning and disinfecting products; educating staff to include environmental services, patient equipment, and nursing; monitoring compliance (eg, thoroughness of cleaning, product use) with feedback (ie, just in time coaching); and implementing a "no touch" room decontamination technology and to ensure compliance for patients on contact and enteric precautions. This article will also discuss new technologies (eg, continuous room decontamination technology) that may enhance our infection prevention strategies in the future.

Keywords: Disinfection; Environment; Equipment; Surfaces.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Equipment and Supplies / microbiology*
  • Fomites / microbiology*
  • Health Facilities*
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*