Research Articles

Enhanced Disinfection Such as UV Can Significantly Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections

The role of the healthcare environment in the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms: update on current best practices for containment

Published: Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease, June 2014


There is clearly a relationship between contamination of the environment with the increased risk of infections in healthcare settings. With increasing concern over antibiotic-resistant organisms and the persistence of transmission within healthcare facilities, it is critical to understand the role the environment plays in disease transmission, along with current best practices and emerging solutions to combat these microbes.


Patient risk for contracting a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) increases by a factor of 3.5 if the room has previously been occupied by a patient infected with Acinetobacter buamannii, 2.5 for C. diff, 2.25 for VRE and 1.5 for MRSA. This increased risk is attributed to the environment since there is no direct contact between patients. Among the emerging technologies are enhanced disinfection devices, including automated UV disinfection systems, which have been shown to reduce the HAI rates.