Green Cleaning in Healthcare: Current Practices and Questions for Future Research
Environmental cleaning plays a key role in preventing healthcare associated infections (HAIs). But many current cleaning practices in healthcare may negatively impact human health and the environment. Green cleaning is a new, promising approach to environmental cleaning that aims at reducing harm to human health and the environment while maintaining or improving the hygiene of the healthcare environment. While a growing number of healthcare facilities are adopting green cleaning practices, there are many essential questions around green cleaning that remain unanswered due to the lack of research in this area.
Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) engaged with the Center for Health Design’s (CHD) Pebble Project to promote and support research on green cleaning. The aims of this project were: To conduct a literature review in order to establish a conceptual framework for green cleaning, to conduct five best practice case studies in order to gather information about the current status and effectiveness of green cleaning practices, and to conduct a questionnaire survey of practitioners and experts in the field to identify high priority research questions around green cleaning in healthcare. In a future phase, HHI and HCWH will support and engage qualified researchers to investigate top priority research questions identified during this project. This report describes the methodology, procedures, and findings from this study.