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Environmental contamination after relocating to a hospital with only single-occupancy rooms

02/02/2023| By
Adriënne Adriënne van der Schoor

Aim: To determine the effect of relocating to a hospital with only single-occupancy rooms on environmental contamination with highly resistant microorganisms (HRMO). Introduction. In May, 2018, the Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, relocated from an old hospital building with mainly multiple-occupancy rooms with shared bathrooms to a newly constructed hospital with 100% single-occupancy rooms and private bathrooms. Methods. Environmental sampling took place twice in the old building and fifteen times in the new building, from two weeks before to thirty-six months after relocating patients. At each sampling moment, samples were taken from 13 locations (e.g. nightstands) in 40 different patient rooms. Samples were screened for different HRMO, e.g. Escherichia coli. Additionally, the total bacterial load was determined. Results. Environmental sampling revealed that 24 of 724 locations (3.3%) were positive for HRMO in the old building, with five locations positive for multiple HRMO. In the new building, five of 4269 locations (0.1%) were positive for HRMO; a significant decrease (P<0.001). In the old building, HRMO were mainly identified from sink drains (87.5%), in the new building from shower drains (60.0%). In the first nine months after opening, an increase in bacterial load was observed. Thirty-six months after relocating, no major differences in bacterial load were identified between the old and the new hospital building. Discussion. This study shows that a newly constructed hospital with 100% single-patients rooms has a positive effect on the presence of HRMO lasting at least 36 months after opening.

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Submitted by2 Feb 2023
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Clarine van Oel
Delft University of Technology
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