The medical center setting is distinct and necessitates a different cleaning strategy than other workplaces. A study conducted by Cambridge University from 2011-2021 found that the cleanliness of a healthcare center is an essential factor in an infection-free hospital stay. Pathogenic bacteria could be grown frequently on surfaces in patient rooms and wards, highlighting the need for comprehensive room cleaning and disinfection in lowering hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly those caused by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). Improvements in environmental cleanliness are closely related to significant decreases in HAI rates.
Healthcare professionals are particularly vulnerable to illness transmission from patients. As a result, it is critical to sanitize hospitals and other medical facilities regularly to eliminate any potential contamination. In this blog, we will discuss why cleaning medical facilities are unique and reasons why you should use professionals for this work.
Cleaning Versus Disinfecting
To realize the distinction between specialized medical cleaning and other forms of commercial cleaning in DC, you should first recognize the difference between disinfection and cleaning. Most people confuse these terms, but they refer to two parts of the treatment process.
Cleaning is the process of removing dirt, contaminants, or dust from a surface. For example, you may use a towel to wipe down a tabletop to eliminate dirt and grime. The same is true for mopping the floor or cleaning dishes.
However, disinfection involves rendering bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms inactive or eliminating them so they can’t infiltrate or multiply. Cleaning can also kill certain bacteria, but a large number of it is resistant to surfactants, the main molecules that constitute household cleaners.
Meanwhile, antimicrobials include active chemicals that can destroy or harm pathogenic cells. That’s why following cleaning, medical facilities must be disinfected. Completing these two levels assures no bacteria that might carry sickness lingers.
Cleaning and disinfection measures in healthcare facilities must be comprehensive. The medical facility and its premises should be the place where the illness ends. Patients go to health facilities to get diagnosed and feel much better, not to contract a novel ailment or worsen an existing one.
To put it in simple terms, professional cleaning is a serious business. It necessitates not just extensive skills but also the appropriate tools. It is advisable to delegate this duty to skilled professionals who satisfy both criteria.
Moreover, authorized hospital personnel, notably the allocated infection prevention and control officer or their counterpart, should be made aware of the nature of the final cleaning. They should be able to manage and monitor the operations without any hindrance.
Waste and Hazardous Materials
Unlike corporate environments and even nutrition enterprises, medical institutions must cope with potentially dangerous products and waste daily. Some examples are human waste, blood, and used medical items, like syringes.
To avoid contamination, such materials and trash should be handled and disposed of properly. Some of them even necessitate the use of trash containers. In general, medical cleaning goes beyond a simple understanding of surface cleaning and recycling.
Specialized Cleaning Supplies
As previously stated, comprehensive cleaning in hospitals necessitates specialized tools, including professional steam cleaners and sprays or foggers. Flooring scrubbers and washers should be robust enough to withstand frequent use. Furthermore, equipment and supplies are required for medical cleaning to prevent infection.
Additional Touch Points
Experts advocate sanitizing and disinfecting high-touch locations and items to reduce disease transmission. Hospitals and other healthcare centers have many more of these touch points than typical commercial enterprises, including the following:
- Hospital bed headboards and footboards
- Hospital bed hand railings or side railings, as well as all areas between the rails
- Drawers and countertops
- Telephone docks and phone units
- Control of the IV poles and the IV pumps
- Summon button for a doctor or a nurse
- Door handles and pushbutton panels for rooms
Because even a small amount of virus or bacteria might be contagious, it’s critical to sanitize and disinfect all of these touch points. Sanitizing touch points alone might take hours, depending on the size of the medical facility.
Cross-contamination is a major worry for medical institutions because germs and viruses may readily spread across surfaces and equipment, resulting in the transmission of a disease to another person. However, the possibility of cross-contamination may be considerably reduced with a thorough cleaning.
Medical facilities are generally crowded areas where germs and bacteria may spread quickly. Contacting the top commercial cleaning service in Washington DC is the best way to avoid this. They have a team of specialists who know how to sterilize surfaces, eliminate smells, and disinfect any environment and have extensive experience with medical office cleaning.