Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Can Medical Cleaning Be Hazardous to Your Health?

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

Medical Cleaning Chemicals resized 600Medical Cleaning Requires Much More Than Just the “Basics”

Medical cleaning is totally different than any other kind of professional cleaning. With professional medical cleaning it is about more thank looks, it is about health and safety. Ensuring a healthy and clean hospital environment protects patients, visitors, and employees alike. The goal of cleaning for health within a medical environment like a hospital, rehab center or clinic is to insure clean surroundings for patients, visitors and health care staff, while at the same time reducing health care Acquired Infections (HAIs) through an effective and science based cleaning program.

The Hard Science of Medical Cleaning

The mission of any professional medical cleaning company or medical janitorial service should ultimately be about partnering with health care professionals to limit the risk of health care Acquired Infections (HAIs). A knowledgeable medical cleaning service won’t simply aim for spaces that look clean, rather they will focus on cleaning programs that have hard science at their foundation. For example, a safe medical cleaning plan should center on tested protocols developed from the recommendations of reputable bodies like CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the AORN (Association of perioperative Registered Nurses).  So what looks clean from a practical standpoint may not always be clean from a medical standpoint. The biggest difference between normal cleaning and medical cleaning is using proper dwell time with chemicals that are approved disinfectants for use in a medical environment. Dwell time means that certain disinfectants require a specific amount of time just sitting wet on a surface to effectively disinfect before being wiped up.

The Benefits of Superior Medical Cleaning Beyond Health & Safety
Certainly their can be no higher goal than the safety of everyone involved in a medical environment—patients, professional staff, visitors and more. Yet, there are some major benefits for your hospital or clinic that go beyond this most critical element. What benefits can outsourcing your medical cleaning to the best professional medical cleaning services help you secure?

  • Adding a positive element to your patient's overall experience.
  • Which in turn can translate into patient satisfaction and improved HCAHPS scores.
  • Infection Control through hospital cleaning best practices including: environmental surface cleaning, sanitation, and disinfecting strategies.
  • Maximum personnel flexibility to meet shifting staffing needs.
  • Maximized value in your Facilities Budget.
  • Hospital compliance & safety compliance for OSHA, HIPPA, & Blood borne Pathogens requirements.

How Do You Find a Medical Janitorial Service That Really Gets It?

Like already discussed, medical cleaning is an entirely different animal than something like general office cleaning. Medical cleaning requires not only an understanding of the goals of the cleaning itself but why it is so critical and how to insure it is done correctly. If your medical cleaning company does not have a solid understanding of health care regulations and basic microbiology and chemistry, they will put you and your organization’s good name at risk.

Any medical janitorial company will have a clear written plan to clean your facility with approved aseptic cleaning procedures designed to reduce the risk of HAIs and meet all safety and compliance requirements. Likewise, a medical cleaning service that has extensive experience in medical cleaning will have clear, thorough mandatory training for their employees that have been specifically designed to address the unique needs of hospital cleaning and clinic cleaning programs. Medical cleaning companies will even take a role in HIPAA laws to safeguard patient privacy when working in and around a medical facility. Cleaning companies cannot “dip” their toe into medical cleaning, there is simply too much critical knowledge a cleaning service must have to be in compliance and keep people safe and healthy.                   

What Is Really So Different About Medical Cleaning?
Medical cleaning personnel must have proper education and training on critical and non-critical cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Without this understanding, meeting the goals of lowered health care Acquired Infections cannot be met. On that same note, medical cleaning personnel must make use of advanced protective equipment like masks, gloves and proper clothing while cleaning critical environments where surfaces could contain infectious microorganisms. It is also required that a hospital cleaning team use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved, hospital-grade cleaning and disinfectant products. Use the wrong products in the wrong ways and your hospital or clinic is at risk. Cleaning for health that is designed to immediately reduce microbial levels necessitates that special attention be paid to sometimes overlooked touch points like door handles, tables, phones, remotes, light switches, and computer keyboards, not to mention the top, front, sides, headboard, mattress, frame and side rails of patient beds. Medical Cleaning personnel must also thoroughly trained in Blood borne Pathogens so they don’t put patients, medical staff, or themselves at risk when coming across bio-hazardous materials.  

The process of aseptic cleaning should be the foundation of any medical cleaning company that is serious about health, safety and your reputation. What kind of best practices define the best medical janitorial companies?

  • Clear & simple color-coding to avoid cross contamination.
  • Microfiber use in cleaning cloths and mop heads to increase cleaning containment & efficacy.
  • EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectants designed to minimize the spread of germs, pathogens and disease.
  • HEPA, high-efficiency vacuuming technology.

Finding the right medical cleaning company or hospital cleaning company that understands what is required to protect the health of everyone on site and insure compliance issues are understood and addressed, might feel like a Herculean task. Still, if you do the work of finding an affordable medical cleaning company that works in your interest, it will save you money and more in the long run.

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Tags: Hospital & Medical Cleaning

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