Ask HRC: Using Floor Burnishers with Patients in the Room

August 23, 2011 | Health System Risk Management


An HRC member recently inquired about a proposed plan from the hospital’s housekeeping staff to use newly purchased floor burnishers, which were equipped with dust-control attachments, in patient rooms while patients were in the room. Although HRC was unable to locate guidance in the literature that directly addressed this issue, the proposed practice raises several infection control and patient satisfaction concerns.

Although HRC is not familiar with the particular brand of burnisher that the member’s facility is using, or its dust control capabilities, it is unlikely that the burnisher could completely capture all dust or other particulates—including fungi—that would be disturbed during the device’s use. Such particulates would not only affect patients and their family members in the room, but could...

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