Take a moment to consider your local healthcare facility. While you sit in the waiting room, how many patients, doctors, visitors, and other staff members enter and exit the area while touching every surface, from doorknobs and countertops to desks, chairs and railings? It is quite possible that any of these people could be carrying dangerous pathogens that could potentially contaminate these surfaces. When a healthcare facility does not take the proper precautions to prevent cross-contamination, not only could there be a potential outbreak, but it could also cost thousands of dollars to remedy the situation. Cleaning and disinfecting healthcare facility surfaces is fundamental to reducing potential incidents.
Equipment and supplies such as mops, rags and buckets are designed to clean surfaces. However, if they are not cleaned or replaced regularly, they could carry the very pathogens they were supposed to eliminate in the first place. Mops and rags are common culprits, while the drying bucket is often overlooked too. If a bucket is not properly cleaned, the next time someone uses a mop, it could spread organisms throughout the waiting room or a patient’s room. This is why it is important to properly sanitize all cleaning equipment, including drying buckets or containers.
Horizontal surfaces and “high touch” surfaces tend to have a higher risk of cross-contamination, and therefore need to be cleaned frequently. These surfaces include the following:
- Doorknobs as well as medical equipment levers and handles
- Bedrails and bathroom handrails
- Trays and bedside tables
- Chairs and toilet seats
- Light switches and call buttons
- Telephones, TV remotes and blood pressure cuffs
- Sinks and toilet flush handles
Items that need to be cleaned less frequently but still need plenty of attention include:
- Floors and walls
- Curtains and lights
- Windows and windowsills
Although it may be unlikely that infection will spread from the floor, it should still be immediately cleaned if there is visible dirt. The regularity of cleaning the floor can also vary from different healthcare facilities. For example, a children’s health clinic may need the floors cleaned more often than a regular clinic due to the occasional child crawling around on the ground.
Properly trained cleaning personnel will be aware that personal protective equipment (PPE) is required when engaging in any cleaning activity. PPE provides protection from any contaminates left on surfaces and equipment, and helps to prevent the spreading of infections to other areas of the healthcare facility.
At Anago of Newark, one of our many areas of expertise is cleaning healthcare facilities. Our staff is extensively trained in the various cleanup procedures necessary to ensure a spotlessly sanitary working environment. Please contact us today for a free cleaning quote.