Training workers to clean and disinfect is essential as is allotting them adequate time in which to do their work. Unfortunately, this is an area where many hospitals fall short, say industry experts.
Cleaning means the removal of dirt or of any other unwanted material (blood, food residues, etc.). This removes visible contaminants.The goal of cleaning is to assure visible cleanliness
Disinfection kills the disease-causing bacteria. Bacterial spores (see Fundamentals of Microbiology) are not killed, however, in many cases disinfection suffices. Disinfection means that one can no longer contract infection from the disinfected objects (Disinfection).
The goal of disinfection is to kill germs and reduce the number of germs such that the disinfected objects can no
longer transmit infection.
Sterilization means the killing of all microorganisms, including bacterial spores.
The goal of sterilization is to assure absolute absence of organisms. An object can be deemed to be sterile if the
probability of a viable microorganism being present on an object is less than 1 : 1,000,000 (1 million). In other words,out of 1 million sterilized objects a viable microorganism may be present only on one single object. All instruments and objects that enter into in sterile body regions or come into contact with wounds must be sterile.
The goal of sterilization is to assure absolute absence of organisms.