Top Prioritized Surfaces for Your Cleaning Monitoring Program

When you think about the totality of surfaces in a health care facility, how do you prioritize what should be cleaned and how often?

In a previous blog post, we discussed how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an environmental checklist for high-touch room surfaces that should be monitored after terminal cleaning of patient rooms.1,2

The recommendations suggest to first focus on those surfaces and equipment most at risk for cross-contamination, and then take into consideration areas with high-risk patient populations.

If you’re getting started with your own facility-wide cleaning monitoring checklist, below are a few example test point lists. These are not exhaustive lists, and ultimately the test points chosen should reflect those areas that are considered representative information on the efficiency of cleaning procedures.

Routinely audit, using an ATP monitoring system for example, terminally cleaned patient rooms. A minimum of five test points or surfaces tested, including:

  • Tray table*
  • Call box/button*
  • Room inner doorknob*
  • Toilet handle*
  • Bed rails/controls*

Routinely audit terminally cleaned operating room (OR):

  • Overhead light
  • Main OR light switch
  • Main OR door push plate
  • OR table surface
  • Bed control
  • Nurse computer keyboard
  • Storage cabinet handles/knobs
  • Anesthesia cart
  • IV pump control*
  • Telephone

High-risk areas and equipment, with a minimum of 10 test points or surfaces tested, including:

  • Clinician stethoscopes, unless single-patient stethoscopes are used
  • Tray table*
  • Bed rails/controls*
  • Call box/button*
  • Room inner doorknob*
  • Telephone*
  • Toilet handle*
  • Bathroom handrails by toilet*
  • Toilet seat*
  • IV pump control*
  • Mobile blood pressure cuff

Additional test points should be added based on facility considerations. Cleaning monitoring can provide you with quality control data that can help improve your organization’s cleaning practices. To learn more about 3M’s cleaning monitoring solutions, click here.

*Test point recommendations from the CDC Environmental Checklist for Monitoring Terminal Cleaning, linked below.



1 Guh, A, Carling PC and Environmental Evaluation Workgroup. Options for Evaluating Environmental Cleaning.  Dec 2010. [Accessed July 21, 2020]
2 CDC Environmental Checklist for Monitoring Terminal Cleaning. [Accessed July 21, 2020]

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