Hospital Cleaning Best Practices Guide
Hospitals require intensive disinfection and sanitization procedures to keep their environments safe for patients. In fact, 1 in 31 hospital patients ends up with a health care-associated infection every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help eliminate such health risks, housekeeping needs to be strict and executed with the highest standards. Policies and procedures for cleaning hospitals, from explaining the right equipment and cleaning products to instructing how to minimize airborne contamination, are key to keeping everyone as protected from illnesses as possible. Find out how to keep hospitals clean with these environmental cleaning guidelines for health care.
How to Keep Hospitals Clean
Health care cleaning requires a different approach than other fields. Housekeeping staff needs to pay excellent attention to detail and have the proper knowledge and training to disinfect areas while also reducing the risks of cross-contamination among patients and staff.
This cleaning is performed daily in the necessary rooms. Housekeepers should always use a hospital-grade disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean every part of the bed. Be sure to clean the mattress, bedframe, headboard, side rails and down between the side rails. The same grade of disinfectant should also be used to clean other high-touch surfaces, including the nurse call buttons and cords, television remote, table surfaces, drawer pulls, switches, armrests and other surfaces. The bathroom should be done from top to bottom, starting with the sink and counters and followed by support bars and fixtures. Clean the toilet last. Privacy curtains should be removed and double bagged. Staff members should properly disinfect all medical equipment. Once housekeepers complete the job, they should remove their gloves while being sure to not touch the outside of them. Handwashing with antimicrobial soap and water and putting on a fresh pair of gloves are critical steps before moving on to other rooms or areas.
Doctors’ offices are a bit more complex when it comes to keeping them clean. Since medical offices do not have specific zones dedicated to individual patients, the risks of germ contamination are much higher. To provide the safest experience for patients and medical staff, housekeeping needs to focus on disinfecting exam tables, furniture and all other high-touch surfaces. These items include light switches, doorknobs, soap dispensers and office equipment. Sanitizing the floors should be done with a professional cleaning system that removes soil completely and leaves the floor dry after.
Long-term care facilities often house individuals with already compromised immune systems. As a result, it is much easier for them to contract an illness. Thorough cleaning of nursing homes is vital to preventing cross-contamination. Housekeeping should try to avoid using harsh chemicals, as many seniors have reactions to them. A better option is to use cleaning systems with technology specifically designed for sanitization and disinfection with more gentle substances.
Cleaning Guidelines for Health Care Facilities
Health care environments require a much more complex method of cleaning for proper hygienic safety. Essentially, there are five main variables to consider when cleaning a health care facility to be sure it is done correctly and effectively. These factors include:
- The products and interventions applied: There are hundreds of cleaning products available. It is important to use the right solutions for the given job.
- Techniques and equipment implemented to use the cleaning products: Reaching the appropriate state of cleanliness within health care facilities depends heavily on how well things are cleaned. By using products, equipment and methods correctly, housekeeping ensures environments are as clean as they should be.
- The kind of surfaces being sanitized and disinfected: Not all surfaces are created equally or are used for the same thing. The appropriate cleaning products and equipment will vary when it comes to what the surfaces require.
- The level of contamination: An environment that is heavily soiled with visible dirt will require much more attention and effort to clean and properly disinfect than others.
- The staff performing the cleaning tasks: Proper training for housekeeping staff is vital to maintaining a safe and hygienic health care facility. Without the right training, policies and procedures, areas of the cleaning process may fail to reach the high standards of cleanliness such facilities require.
Infection Control Cleaning Guidelines
Health care-associated illnesses are a major concern, but they can be prevented if facilities are properly cleaned. There is one cleaning method that has been proven by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to be the most effective at reducing health care-associated illnesses. During a two-year study, various methods were tested to see which ones were most effective. Cleaning methods using bleach and ammonia individually reduced the chances of contracting a health care-associated illness by 32%-37% when used in conjunction with a UV-C emitting device. Upon further investigation during the study, 90.5% of doorknobs and 95.2% of light switches were considered to be clean. While results varied between surfaces, the study ultimately showed that this method of cleaning works best for infection control. Researchers have concluded that self-monitoring cleaning practices with UV-C emitting devices will help to better gauge and control the cleanliness of health care facilities.
Hospital Cleaning Procedures and Methods
There are various hospital cleaning guidelines for performing quality housekeeping services in health care environments. These procedures include:
- Cleaning and disinfecting: Every area should be properly cleaned and disinfected with the appropriate products and equipment based on policy and procedure. Housekeepers should complete all the steps on the cleaning checklist without cutting corners to finish faster.
- Using the right products: The right products make the difference between something being clean or still remaining soiled. Solutions should always be used based on the surfaces being cleaned and how well the product will disinfect, sanitize and clean the area in question.
- Wearing appropriate protection: Housekeeping staff should always take the proper precautions to protect themselves with personal protective equipment (PPE). Washing hands, sanitizing and using protective eyewear and latex gloves are crucial to reducing cross-contamination and the spread of pathogens.
- Focusing on high-touch surfaces: Always clean high-touch surfaces. Even when people do not think they are leaving traces of illness behind, touching surfaces can result in leaving behind microorganisms. Make sure to address high-touch surfaces appropriately to reduce the spread of illness.
- Working from the cleanest to dirtiest areas: Proper cleaning requires the right method to prevent re-soiling areas that have already been cleaned. Housekeeping staff should start by sanitizing the cleanest sections before tackling the dirtiest areas to prevent recontamination.
Contact Corporate Cleaning & Facility Services for Health Care Facility Sanitation
The cleanliness and safety of every hospital should always adhere to the highest cleaning standards. We understand the importance of superior quality control in every medical facility. To ensure your health care facility is kept clean and sanitized, trust the experts. Contact Corporate Cleaning & Facility Services today for a free quote and discover how good we are at exceeding expectations.