When it comes to effective cleaning, beauty is often "skin deep." We had a number of stories in the past week about fighting HAI's and the important role of environmental cleaning and proper hand washing - in other words "skin deep" surfaces. Sterilization and disinfection are critical, but the first step in any effective infection fighting regimen is cleaning. Cleaning alone removes the vast majority of contaminants, and clears the way for sterilants/disinfectants to do their job on any remaining small population of microbes.
As these articles describe, to be effective, a proper surveillance program needs to be in place. We improve what we check. By auditing the effectiveness of your cleaning regimen, you and your institution will know how you are performing and will be able to focus and document steps which lead to improvement. Be sure to check out the stories below for more detail on how you can beautify your organizations "skin" by proper cleaning.