One of the most crucial aspects of delivering quality healthcare is providing a hygienic environment for the patients. After all, some patients may carry infectious diseases, or many may even wet the bed. Poor housekeeping in healthcare facilities can become a cause of concern and lead to various ailments spreading. Instead of being a source of comfort, a poorly cleaned hospital can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and parasites. Apart from patients, these can also become a threat to visitors, medical staff, and janitorial staff.
Therefore, hospital hygiene should be at the top list of priorities for any healthcare facility. While there are many cleaning methods, here are eight of the most effective and efficient ways to maintain utmost cleanliness at hospitals.
PPE for janitorial staff
We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while housekeeping at healthcare facilities. Like doctors and nurses, it is crucial to teach your janitorial staff the importance of hand hygiene before and after going on their rounds. Provide 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizers, liquid hand soaps, face masks, disposable latex gloves, aprons, and protective eyewear. Furthermore, teach your staff the norms and best practices of wearing gloves. These include wearing them in the hallways and make changing gloves mandatory throughout the day, as it helps prevent cross-contamination.
While these are the bare minimum hygiene practices, you can level up by taking an online MBA in health administration as you continue work. Getting in-depth health administration education can equip you to zero in on maintaining the utmost hygiene, drastically promoting good health, and speeding patient recovery.
Maintain waste disposal
Day in and day out, hospitals use many disposable gloves, PPEs, tissues, diapers, and syringes that require proper disposal in a garbage bag. Be sure not to overload these bags, so there is enough room to close them properly. Garbage bags filled to the brim or with holes and tears in them can be a means of liquid spillage. This, in turn, can lead to the development of breeding grounds for bacteria in garbage cans. Moreover, if there are high volumes of liquids thrown out in any disposable bag, train your janitorial staff to double up on garbage bags and then dispose of it off. Doubling eliminates the probability of any leaks.
Furthermore, healthcare facilities should invest in waterproof bags that do not tear easily. Take it a step further, and disinfect your garbage cans daily. Overlooking bins is a common mistake made by many hospitals. However, at closer inspection, these cans could be collecting numerous parasites, which could pose a threat to those working at the hospital.
Cross-contamination is one of the biggest threats at any healthcare facility. To ensure you eliminate it to the best of your abilities, we recommend washing rags and mops after every use. In rooms where patients carry highly infectious diseases, such as COVID, the mop or rag should be disposed of immediately after cleaning and should not be used in another room.
Minimize air pollution
Take housekeeping up a notch by installing air filters throughout the hospital. This nifty gadget captures pollen, mold spores, small particles and prevents them from floating in the air. Thereby ensuring the hospital has clean air at all times and is truly a space of wellness. Furthermore, if your facility has windows, be sure to let in sunlight at least for a few hours every day. Sunlight is known to kill bacteria and promote positivity.
Disinfect and sterilize
The CDC recommends sterilizing surgical instruments before starting procedures and cleaning patient-care items with attention to detail. Cleanse the latter items with water and detergent before sterilizing. Similarly, disinfect medical devices after each use. Furthermore, the CDC advises using detergents compatible with materials used in medical equipment, such as metals. It promotes hygiene and elongates the life of hospital equipment.
Focus on public places
It is no surprise hospitals are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. Therefore, staff should pay closer attention to disinfecting commonly touched surfaces throughout the day. High-touch surfaces include doorknobs, faucets, tabletops, staircase railings, bed rails, chairs, vending machines, and elevator buttons. Disinfecting these areas frequently reduces the probability of germ transmission via contact.
It is quintessential for the cleaning staff to wipe down surfaces and then follow up with disinfectant sprays to ensure proper germ busting. Moreover, the hospital staff should make it a daily practice to clean hard-to-reach places, such as the corners of a room, underneath furniture, and behind the bed. Dust particles can hide in nooks and crannies and pose a health hazard for patients.
Clean up the dirtiest places last
Many hospitals overlook this. However, this tip can be a game-changer in elevating wellness at your facility. Instead of cleaning just any space first, make it a routine to take care of the cleanest areas first and keep the dirtiest places for last. Similarly, start from cleaning the healthiest patient’s room first, then move to the sickest patient, as this eliminates the probability of cross-contamination to a great extent.
Following cleaning guidelines can help promote proper hygiene at healthcare facilities. Remember, the key is attention to detail. Choose suitable quality disinfectants, cleaners, PPEs, and garbage bags to help facilitate your staff. Take care of your staff so they can take better care of your patients. Most of all, clean the entire healthcare facility frequently throughout the day to maintain a squeaky clean facility.