Environmental cleaning was assessed at a small animal veterinary referral hospital and associated primary healthcare facility. A convenience sample of surfaces was contaminated with fluorescent dye, and then cleaning was assessed 24 hours later by UV light visualisation. Five hundred sixty-three sites were assessed; however, 70 sites were unable to be evaluated 24 hours later because equipment had been removed or because rooms were occupied at the time of re-evaluation. Overall, dye was removed from 212/493 (43%) of sites. Site-specific rates ranged from 14% (computer keyboards and mice, 9/66 site cleaned) to 81% (examination tables, 44/54 sites cleaned). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of successful cleaning by general location (P < 0.0001) and surface type (P < 0.0001). Environmental tagging was an easy and low-cost tool to assess cleaning practices. Results prompted further infection control investigations to explain selected deficiencies, leading to identification of inadequacies in protocols and practices. Environmental tagging may be a useful infection control tool for establishing baseline cleaning rates, identifying deficiencies in protocols, evaluating the effects of interventions and education of personnel.
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Provenance Provenance: not commissioned; externally peer reviewed
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