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Improving public perceptions around cleanliness and health care associated infection in hospitals service improvement

Improving public perceptions around cleanliness and health care associated infection in hospitals service improvement

Journal of Infection Prevention 13(6): 192-199

A qualitative study was undertaken to understand public perceptions of hospital cleanliness and how this might be improved following national initiatives to reduce infection rates and invest in domestic services. Eleven focus groups were held across the West Midlands. demonstrated that perceptions are attained from a variety of sources. For patients and visitors the things they see, hear, smell and taste in hospitals and health services shaped their perceptions of cleanliness. For the public the media, friends and family are important. Key factors for attention include: ensuring hospital floors, walls, ceilings, doors and toilets are kept clean, tidy, and unstained; an absence of strong odours; patients have the opportunity for regular baths/showers; staff have clean hands and uniforms, have short, clean finger nails and hair tied back; and eye-catching material on why cleanliness is important as well as what people need to do. Participants were generally unaware of the symptoms of MRSA, Clostridium difficile or Norovirus.The results of the study suggest that attention needs to be focussed on developing effective communication strategies. This will only be possible by adopting a multifaceted approach and enabling collaborative working between infection control staff, communications teams and other frontline staff.

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Accession: 036662386

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

DOI: 10.1177/1757177412462047

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