HealthDay News – Use of ultraviolet environmental disinfection (UVD) following discharge cleaning of contact precautions rooms is associated with a significant reduction in overall hospital-acquired multiple-drug-resistant organism (MDRO) and Clostridium difficile (CD) incidence, according to researchers.

“Multiple-drug-resistant organisms (MDROs) and Clostridium difficile (CD) are significant problems in health care,” wrote Janet P. Haas, PhD, RN, from the Westchester Medical Center Department of Infection Prevention and Control in Valhalla, N.Y., and colleagues. “Evidence suggests that these organisms are transmitted to patients by the contaminated environment.”

After conducting a retrospective study of the implementation of UVD following discharge cleaning of contact precautions in rooms and high-risk areas, inspectors compared incidence rates of hospital-acquired MDROs and CD before and during UVD use. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

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UVD was performed 11,389 times during the study period. Contact precautions discharges accounted for 3,833 (34%) uses, staff request for 3,695 (32%) uses, routine operating room and burn unit disinfection for 1,938 (17%) uses, and disinfection of bathrooms in occupied rooms accounted for 1,938 (17%) of uses.

Contact precautions rooms received UVD for 3,833 (76%) of discharges, with a range of 66% to 93% of discharges per month. The reasons for missed UVD upon discharge were miscellaneous 799 (67%) times, roommate was present 212 (18%) times, miscommunication with nursing 129 (11%) times, lack of availability of a machine 40 (3%) times, and because of urgent need for the room 9 (<1%) times.

“During the time period UVD was in use, there was a significant decrease in overall hospital-acquired MDRO plus CD in spite of missing 24% of opportunities to disinfect contact precautions rooms,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Haas J et al. American Journal of Infection Control. 2014; Vol 42(6).