Hospital Cleaning Best Practices: How to Keep Patients and Staff Safe
Keeping healthcare facilities safe for patients and health care workers should be a priority for any hospital, but this isn’t always the case. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 100,000 people die every year from diseases acquired inside US hospitals. This scary statistic highlights some of the failures of traditional cleaning and disinfection systems. Here are the hospital cleaning procedures and methods suggested by North American public health officials and Kaivac Cleaning Systems.
- Wear Gloves Properly
The improper use of gloves spreads dangerous bacteria. The Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion recommends several techniques to control contaminants, starting with assigning different gloves for household tasks, patient rooms, and jobs involving heavily soiled items. Gloves must always be changed between patients, should never be worn in hallways, and should be changed when moving from a residential area to a shared restroom space. In addition, hospital cleaning staff must their wash hands after removing gloves.
- Focus on High-Touch Areas
As in public restrooms and school facilities, every hospital administrator should direct staff to focus on the most-touched surfaces for infection control. These include bed rails, doorknobs, phones, and remote controls in patients’ rooms. Since more people have touched these areas, there is a greater likelihood of dangerous bacteria.
- Work from Clean to Dirty Areas
One of the biggest mistakes in modern commercial cleaning is starting from the dirtiest places, usually the restroom, and moving to cleaner parts of the facility. There are so many chances to spread disease-causing soils from a bathroom or kitchen when mops and rags are part of the cleaning system. Hospital cleaning should progress from the rooms of the healthiest patients to the restrooms in the wards with the sickest patients.
- Limit Air Pollution
Since there are so many biological hazards in health care facilities, they must be contained in the trash bags and receptacles where they have been deposited. To keep bacteria out of the air stream, Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion recommends that workers roll soiled bedclothes away from their bodies before placing them—not throwing them—in linen bins. Trash bags should be tied without releasing the excess air in the bag.
- Avoid Cross-Contamination
Probably the biggest challenge for health care cleaning crews is removing and disposing of contaminants right where they are in the hospital. Mops and rags are almost guaranteed to bring bacteria to other parts of the facility. Kaivac’s No-Touch Cleaning System offers the most complete solution to this problem. Using a revolutionary technique of spraying, vacuuming, and disposing of contaminants, your cleaning crew can be certain that prevention and control of bacteria doesn’t spread from the patient’s room.
- Dispose of Contaminated Materials Safely
Knowing how and where to dispose of soiled surfaces and solutions should be considered as important as the cleaning system. Whether you have soiled linens, dirty cleaning fluids, or contaminated biological materials from clinics, make sure there is no chance for contamination during removal. No-touch cleaning makes disposal of dirty cleaning fluids easier than ever.
- Minimize Chemical Content
Abrasive chemicals can irritate patients’ nasal passages and harm the skin of cleaning workers and hospital staff. Kaivac’s top-rated cleaning system offers a solution with up to 90 percent less chemical content than other solutions. That means that the most effective cleaning system is also safer.
These hospital cleaning best practices can help stop the spread of diseases in health care facilities.