Improved Cleaning of Patient Rooms Using a Targeting Method

Philip C. Carling, Janet L. Briggs, Jeanette Perkins, Deborah Highlander

We developed a new method using an invisible fluorescent marker to target standardized high‐touch surfaces in hospital rooms. Evaluation of 1404 surface objects in 157 rooms in 3 hospitals revealed that 47% of targets had been cleaned. Educational interventions were implemented, leading to sustained improvement in cleaning of all objects and a >2‐fold improvement in cleaning of surfaces previously cleaned <85% of the time.


Full Report

Philip C. Carling - 1,2,3,4
Janet L. Briggs - 1
Jeanette Perkins - 3
Deborah Highlander - 4

1 - Department of Hospital Epidemiology, Carney Hospital, Boston MA

2 - Boston University School of Medicine, Boston MA

3 - Department of Hospital Epidemiology Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands, Sandwich MA

4 - Department of Hospital Epidemiology, Quincy Medical Center, Quincy MA

Reprints or Correspondence: Dr. Philip C. Carling, Dept. of Infectious Diseases, Carney Hospital, 2100 Dorchester Ave., Boston, MA 02124 (


Clinical Infectious Diseases 2006;42:385–388
© 2005 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved.


Improved Cleaning of Patient Rooms Using a Targeting Method:  Created on November 28th, 2009.  Last Modified on November 28th, 2009


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Allen Rathey · 6 years ago

Mr. Robinson: Good points. Thank you. Does anyone know where to obtain a small, high-powered fluorescent light and targeting markers?

November 29th, 2009 | 10:18am Reply
Bob Robinson Sr · 6 years ago

This is a great teaching method for beginner cleaning workers as well as a quality inspection tool for experienced workers. This instructional method can be used beyond healthcare into every market segment; K-12, office cleaning, food service, etc.

This method may have a significant role in the upcoming Clean Standard for K-12 schools.

November 29th, 2009 | 7:53am Reply Account Registration

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