Daily Disinfection of the Hospital Room and Non-critical Items: Barriers and Practical Approaches


Purpose of Review

Daily disinfection of the hospital room and non-critical items is an important component of healthcare infection prevention. Barriers exist for heightened and reliable daily disinfection in the healthcare setting, and definitions are lacking for clean or acceptable levels of microbial burden on hospital surfaces.

Recent Findings

Current methods for manual, daily cleaning of patient rooms are likely suboptimal for bioburden reduction. The use of UV-C and HP vapor light for decontamination of HTS may reduce bioburden yet requires investment in both resources and deployment. Applying the principles of HFE to daily disinfection processes may improve reliability and reduce microbial surface burden.


All disinfectants must be EPA-approved for low-level disinfection (LLD).No single method exists for accuately monitoring the adequacy of the cleaning process; strategies include observation and feedback, the use of ATP bioluminescence assays and flourescent markers, ultraviolet UV light along with formal process audits and feedback. Safety programs must be aware that not all EPA hospital disinfectants approved for LLD will disinfect select organisms such as C. difficile. Further studies are needed to define optimal daily disinfection strategies and to demonstrate the impact of environmental hygiene on patient-centered healthcare infection outcomes.

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Correspondence to Amie Patrick.

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Patrick, A., Hess, O., Cooper, K. et al. Daily Disinfection of the Hospital Room and Non-critical Items: Barriers and Practical Approaches. Curr Infect Dis Rep 22, 33 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11908-020-00743-w

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  • Low-level disinfection
  • Patient rooms
  • Environmental hygiene
  • Hospital disinfection