How to Build a Safe, Effective Healthcare Cleaning Program
Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Protecting
Maintaining the cleanliness of hospitals and other healthcare facilities isn’t just important for patients and staff – it’s essential for the health of the entire surrounding community. Additionally, cleaning healthcare facilities is much more involved than merely emptying the trash and running a vacuum over the carpet. The constant influx of patients with contagions and delicate health issues makes every high-traffic area a potential hazard. Furthermore, the sheer size of some hospitals can make cleaning a daunting task. It’s helpful then to have a detailed plan in place for regular cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your healthcare facility.
The Importance of Cleaning
Cleaning clears dirt, debris, and micro-organisms from surfaces, making them less hospitable for pathogens. Industrial-strength vacuums are also important. These vacuums usually feature HEPA filters, which can remove 99% of airborne particles. When it comes to mopping, be sure to use a two-bucket process. This ensures that waste is kept separate from the cleaning solution. Furthermore, mops should be completely cleaned and dried after each use. Finally, all involved staff should be wearing the proper personal protective equipment when cleaning.
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfection
While cleaning removes micro-organisms from surfaces and slows their proliferation, disinfection actually kills them. When disinfecting, be sure to pay particular attention to high-touch surfaces like counters, chairs, railings, and handles, along with all treatment areas. The Environmental Protection Agency’s List-N is a guide of products that are expected to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) when used in accordance with directions. Bioesque’s Botanical Disinfectant Solution is a List-N product and features a 55-second kill time against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
Handling Medical Waste
Healthcare facilities generate waste such as used medical supplies, lab refuse, blood, and other bodily fluids. These items must be designated as medical waste and have special procedures for handling and disposal. All cleaning staff must be trained to recognize, handle, and dispose of this type of waste
When devising a healthcare facility cleaning program, keep these guidelines in mind. Ensure the entire staff is on the same page and each employee knows their responsibility. Further resources can be found on the CDC’s Healthcare page.