As the science behind the transmission of microbes on hospital surfaces becomes clearer, an appreciation of environmental services (EVS) departments grows stronger. At least 25% of surfaces in a patient room are contaminated with pathogens, which can then be transmitted to the patient.1A study by Cohen et al found that patients have 5 to 6 times increased odds of acquiring an infection when they were placed in a contaminated room.2

EVS staff in healthcare settings are either employees of the facilities or those working with outside vendors. In either situation, infection preventionists need to understand the competencies and training of the staff who are performing cleaning and disinfection in their facility. IPs should meet with the EVS leadership to review what their competencies and training include, in particular for daily cleaning, terminal cleaning, special isolation rooms (ie, Clostridiodes difficile or norovirus), and cleaning in procedural areas such as operating rooms (OR), cardiac catheterization labs, or interventional radiology suites.

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