The Changing Role of the Healthcare Environment

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Clinical Laboratory Science


The role of the healthcare environment and its contribution to acquisition and transfer of microorganisms that cause infection and illness in both patients and healthcare workers is not by any means straightforward. Considerations include potential contamination of hard surfaces like desks, sinks, beds, light switches, carts, walls, and floors, as well as porous surfaces like wheelchairs, bedding, linen, curtains, and upholstery. Historically the focus on managing the role of environmental variables was considered less critical because we knew less about the impact those surfaces had in infection prevention.