Global health care environmental hygiene 'shockingly lacking'

Global health care environmental hygiene ‘shockingly lacking’

Source / Disclosures

Peters did not make any relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all relevant financial disclosures by other authors.

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A survey found that many healthcare facilities globally lack good environmental hygiene practices.

“Having seen the state of healthcare environmental hygiene (HEH) internationally, our team wanted to devise a tool that could help improve healthcare facilities, regardless of their resource level,” Alexandra Peters, PhD, The scientific leader of the Clean Hospital Infection Control Program and the WHO Collaborating Center on Patient Safety, told Healio. “The pilot study was the first step in developing this tool.”

cleaning hands

A pilot survey has shown that many healthcare facilities around the world lack environmental hygiene practices for healthcare. Source: Adobe Stock.

Alexandra Peters

The survey was developed by a group of experts and based on the WHO’s Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy, which has five objectives including ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place to allow health care workers to practice hand hygiene, providing regular training, and monitoring hand hygiene practices . and infrastructure, providing performance feedback and results.

The primary objective of the survey was to test an initial version of the HEH Self-Assessment Framework. Researchers used it to collect data on HEH programs around the world. They sent the survey to 743 health care facilities (HCFs) of all World Bank income levels.

In all, 51 healthcare funds from 35 countries participated, of which 98% reported that HEH lacked some or all of the five components of the WHO strategy.

In addition, 71% of respondents believed that their facilities gave sufficient importance to sanitary health, and 47% believed that the budget for cleaning and disinfection was adequate. Other findings included that 67% of health care facilities reported that necessary HEH products and supplies were always available, while 27% said they were sometimes available and 6% said they were never or rarely available. Of the 90% of healthcare facilities that reported availability of HEH equipment and supplies, 16% were still unable to perform adequate sterilization because the equipment was not in good working order.

Other survey results showed that only over 50% of healthcare facilities reported that their protocols are based on best practices and updated regularly and only 22% of healthcare facilities provided or required – if outsourced – comprehensive formal health health training on recruitment . Additionally, 28% did not provide or need any formal training at all.

Peters said the data shows HEH programs are “shockingly lacking worldwide” even in wealthy countries.

“HEH is not only a technical problem but a human problem as well,” she said. “Cleaning personnel play a very important role in patient safety. Organizations need to train and support the human components as well as the technical components.”


APIC. A new survey illustrates the challenges associated with environmental hygiene for healthcare in facilities around the world. Accessed June 2, 2022.

Who is the. A guide to implementing the WHO Multimodal Hand Hygiene Improvement Strategy. Accessed June 2, 2022.

2022-06-04 15:03:54

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