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How do I know if a prospective hospital is clean?

Dede Bonner
Health Education

Cleanliness doesn’t guarantee that a hospital has good internal procedures to control infections, but dirty public areas or bathrooms are red flags for potential trouble. Ideally, ask if you can take a short tour of the hospital prior to your surgery. Pay attention to:

• Any odors, including the smell of heavy disinfectants used to mask serious sanitation problems

• Signs of clutter (ancient food trays, messy public areas)

• The physical layout of the floor where you’ll be staying (long hallways decrease the nurses’ response times to patients’ calls)

• High noise levels

• Lack of privacy in patient rooms

• Poor lighting or temperature controls

Consider the fact that more people die from hospital-acquired infections than all accidents and homicides combined. If the hospital appears dirty to you, don’t go there. Period, end of story.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.