Preventing healthcare-associated infections by decontaminating the clinical environment
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Preventing healthcare-associated infections by decontaminating the clinical environment

Sacha McMillan Clinical nurse specialist – infection prevention and control, Christchurch Hospital Campus, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the importance of decontamination of the patient environment and shared patient equipment in preventing healthcare-associated infections

  • To understand the process of infection transmission and environmental contamination in clinical areas

  • To be aware of the barriers to adherence to infection prevention and control guidance

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) continue to cause patient harm and at increasing rates. Factors contributing to this increase include suboptimal hand hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, and inadequate decontamination of the patient environment and shared patient equipment. To reduce the risk of HAIs and enhance patient safety, it is important that nurses and other healthcare professionals adhere to infection prevention and control guidance, including decontamination procedures. It is also important to identify and address the barriers that can affect adherence to this guidance. This article discusses effective decontamination of the patient environment and non-critical shared patient equipment, the barriers to adhering to guidance and strategies for improving decontamination procedures.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11935

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

Sacha.Mcmillan@cdhb.health.nz

Conflict of interest

None declared

McMillan S (2022) Preventing healthcare-associated infections by decontaminating the clinical environment. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11935

Published online: 28 April 2022

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