Cleaning is extremely important in medical facilities and hospital environments. The right sanitation practices can help reduce harmful pathogens and bacteria, which can put patients, staff, and visitors at risk. Find out some of the top cleaning methods for thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing medical facilities.

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While cleaning and disinfecting patient rooms and waiting areas are crucial in a medical facility, focusing on high-touch surfaces is also important. Bacteria and pathogens can spread easily between healthy staff and visitors to compromised patients through highly frequented areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning all high-touch surfaces with soap and water before then applying any disinfectants.

They then recommend using specific cleaning products based on the likely harmful germ or pathogen for the best results. One of the biggest challenges of thoroughly cleaning medical facilities is choosing the right products. Another important step when disinfecting high-risk areas is carefully monitoring contact/wet times. This means ensuring the high-touch surface stays wet during the full cleaning time. Important high-touch areas to remember include counters, door handles, light switches, stair rails, elevator buttons, writing utensils, and restroom sink and toilet handles.

Sanitizing Following Cleaning

Sanitizing protocols should follow disinfecting, especially when cleaning high-traffic and high-touch areas in a medical facility. Cleaning removes the presence of germs and bacteria, whereas sanitizing helps get rid of any leftover germs. Implementing a cleaning and then sanitizing approach significantly decreases the risk of spreading disease when compared to simply sanitizing or cleaning on its own. Surfaces should then be left to dry fully before use, which may require prior planning, especially when cleaning furniture in the medical facility.

Air Filtering and Cleaning

Air is one of a medical facility’s most overlooked cleaning tasks. Airborne viruses can easily stay in the air for hours, infecting a large number of patients and staff. Some illnesses, like the common cold or the flu, can even linger in the room for days. Air filtering and cleaning in a medical facility can also reduce allergens, which can lead to symptoms in patients and staff that often mimic common viruses. Improving air quality can promote patient healing and reduce the number of staff who call into work.

There are a few methods medical facilities can implement when it comes to air filtering and cleaning. The first is using HEPA air filters to block allergens from flowing into the facility. The second is installing air filtering machines that collect large particles and then filter them through UVC lamps. Other air filtering machines work by creating positive or negative air pressure in the most vulnerable rooms to prevent bacteria and viruses from entering or leaving the room. These machines are especially useful when high-risk patients visit the facility or when patients with contagious viruses are on-site.

UV Cleansing

Another beneficial cleaning method for medical facilities is cleaning using UV lights. UV cleansing is the use of UV lights to get rid of viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms. Using UV cleansing in your medical facility can help combat certain viruses or bacteria that are resilient to other cleaning materials. A UV light works differently than disinfectants by emitting strong UV rays, which work to penetrate the proteins of the bacteria or virus’ genetic makeup.

Sterile Processing

Sterile processing involves thoroughly disinfecting and preparing all medical and surgical tools for use with patients before they arrive. In addition to using the best cleaning and sanitizing products on all equipment, it’s also important to focus on hygienic storage.

Proper cleaning of hospital tools requires a multistep approach that includes decontamination, preparation and proper packaging, stream sterilization, and safe storage and distribution. A multifaceted approach also helps ensure that all equipment is properly decontaminated and ready for use, helping increase staff productivity and reduce medical errors.

Routine Cleaning

Routine cleaning and disinfecting schedules can help reduce the risk of spreading pathogens in medical facilities. This means thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing all areas of the facility on a consistent, routine schedule rather than only thoroughly cleaning following an increase in illnesses.

Rotating cleaning staff can also help to avoid human error, which can compromise the cleanliness of a medical facility. Frequent training of staff can also ensure they stay up to date on the latest cleaning protocols and requirements. Hospital administrators can also ensure a thorough approach by swapping out

cleaning crews or using programmed instruments for cleaning and sanitization tasks.

Hospital administrators and managers are in charge of setting proper cleaning and sanitization protocols. The effectiveness of these hospital cleaning strategies directly impacts patient and staff health.