New CDC Guidelines for Environmental Hygiene

What They Are and Why Now is the Time to Implement a Stronger, Programmatic Approach to Hospital Cleaning & Disinfection

CDC Guidelines images of healthcare providers in scrubs cleaning various elements of an operating room.

It is well established that cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities is critical to reduce the transmission of pathogens responsible for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).  Yet, protocols for environmental hygiene can vary by hospital, or even within a hospital by department and team.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a guideline entitled Core Components of Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection, which outlines the foundational elements that are needed to provide a clean, safe environment that supports the safety of patients, healthcare workers and visitors.  According to the CDC, the Core Elements of a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection program include: Integrate EVS, Educate and Train, Select Products, Standardize Protocols, Monitor Adherence, and Provide Feedback.

While this list of individual components isn’t necessarily new to the healthcare industry, the packaging of these six foundational elements together as a formal guideline is.  With heightened awareness of environmental hygiene not only within hospitals but among patients and visitors because of COVID-19, the timing and argument for these guidelines couldn’t be stronger.  They present a unique opportunity for hospitals to apply recent learnings from the pandemic and combine them with best practice guidance to meet the elevated expectations surrounding hygiene and cleanliness.  The establishment of these coordinated components will help hospital environmental services teams succeed, whether they are operating under normal circumstances or within a triage scenario like we’ve experienced this past year.

CDC Guidelines Images for Insights Article April 2021

Infection prevention is at the core of everything we do. Ecolab Healthcare’s programmatic approach to environmental hygiene is uniquely positioned to help hospitals meet the CDC Core Components of Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection. We have years of experience in setting-specific solutions for the patient room, operating room, central sterile department and ambulatory surgery centers that closely align with this guidance and can help you ensure these core components are integrated into your facility’s environmental hygiene operations. Here's how:

  • Integrate EVS: Visibility to EVS staff's impact on quality and infection prevention measures via program dashboards
  • Educated and Train: A programmatic approach to professional in-person and virtual training
  • Select Products: Product standardization and consultative approach to product selection to meet your needs
  • Standardize Protocols: Repeatable and measurable process cleaning flows for room turnover
  • Monitor Adherence: DAZO monitoring and interactive dashboards to monitor staff and room cleanliness performance
  • Provide Feedback: Routinely scheduled program reviews with our Customer Success Managers to identify achievements and opportunities for improvement

You can learn more about these programs by visiting, or by contacting us for more information using the green tabs on the right side of this page.

You can also access the CDC’s Core Components of Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection guideline here.

About the Author

Ecolab Healthcare Insights

Ecolab Healthcare

Ecolab Healthcare is driven to help health systems and hospitals realize clinical, operational and financial value through a programmatic approach to hospital cleaning through repeatable and measurable workflows.

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