• Tracy Wale, RN, CHSP

Floors Prove a Source of Infection

Infection Control Today recently published an article on management of floors in healthcare facilities. Although your facility may not be a hospital, many of the principles certainly apply.

Floors were often overlooked in the past as a major factor in environmental contamination. Floors that are not adequately maintained harbor pathogens associated with healthcare acquired infections (HAI's), a very expensive and life-impacting problem.

Inadequately laundered mops can be reintroduced to the hospital with remnant HAI pathogens. This study evaluated laundered microfiber mops from 11 hospitals and found that 27.3% of the newly laundered mops contained microbial contamination, including HAI pathogens. To reduce HAI risk exposure, hospitals and facilities should convert to single-use microfiber mops. This study evaluated several brands of single-use microfiber mops and determined that differences vividly exist between brands on several critical criteria such as disinfectant neutralization, absorbency and dispersion/release efficacy, floor coverage, and wasted chemical solution.

Many hospitals are moving to single-use microfiber mops and wipes to help reduce the risk of HAIs from floor surfaces. Single-use mops remove the potential of cross-contamination with virgin microfiber in every use. Single-use mops eliminate the risk of efficacy degradation resulting from microfiber structural breakdown or pathogen retention following inadequate laundering.


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