When a cleaning system is carried out in a medical environment, it requires a set of specific measures, a work protocol must be followed by these professionals that can prevent the spread of infections.
The cleaning procedure to be performed for a medical office or clinic and for an administrative office are two processes that share very few aspects in common, this is due to the “why” and “for what” the areas are kept clean.
For a commercial service, the focus is more directed to the aesthetic perception, when hiring a cleaning company. On the other hand, when we talk about a sanitary environment, cleanliness takes another concept, and has another perception beyond appearing to be clean and smelling good.
The procedure for sanitizing a sanitary area is regulated by a set of work plans, which, depending on the areas in which action must be taken, have a strict level of rigidity and determinants.
Different cleaning areas in hospitals
Companies that clean hospitals must keep in mind three different types of areas in the clinical area. In each of these areas, a series of specific tasks are carried out, which imply a strict and different level of cleanliness.
These environments are exposed to high risks of infection transmission. In these areas, risky procedures are carried out regardless of whether there are patients or not. Likewise, those areas where immunosuppressed patients are located are also considered risk areas. These areas are generally known as intensive care, clinical analysis warehouses, surgical centers, transplant units, high-risk infirmaries, among others.
These areas are inhabited by patients with infectious diseases of low transmission or diseases that are not at risk of transmission. These spaces are generally ambulatory, emergency areas, bathrooms, hospital corridors, infirmaries, among other areas that can be classified as semi-critical.
These are the wards, rooms or those health centers that do not have patients where risky procedures are carried out. These spaces are classified as offices, administrative areas, dressing rooms, storage rooms or secretaries. In these areas the cleaning methods are a little more flexible because there are no major risks of infection as in the cases already mentioned.
General standards in a hospital cleaning company
Among the most important requirements that are demanded of cleaning companies for medical centers is the total availability, this is due to the flow of movement that is perceived in health centers and the great activity of risk activities on a daily basis. The sanitary standards generally established by public institutions are:
- Correct use of equipment such as rubber gloves should be used when cleaning blood, body fluids or feces stains.
- The use of dry sweeping is prohibited in health care facilities. Cleaning companies are not allowed to use brooms, vacuum cleaners, feather dusters or any type of utensil that produces the lifting of dust or dirt on the floor. This is so as not to cause the spread of germs due to air currents.
- A daily and systematic cleaning and disinfection method must be applied, this being the most effective method to allow permanent safety in hospitals.
- The main objective of hospital cleaning companies should be focused on cleaning and disinfecting each area.
- Hospital cleaning companies should apply a double bucket mechanism. In this method, the first bucket should contain a soap solution and the second bucket should contain a far away solution or disinfectant. However, for those spaces where patients in critical contagious states are treated, the content of the buckets must be different, so a control must be managed so as not to modify or confuse the products of both areas.
- Each material is exclusive for each of the zones. The materials used in each of the areas cannot be mixed and matched. Therefore, the use of cleaning instruments such as sponges, gloves and others should be exclusive for each office.
- Each space should be cleaned under a set of specific preset regulations.
- The cleaning protocol should begin in the least contaminated areas to those places where the focus of infection is much higher. At the moment of accessing a new space, the wipe should be changed and the wipe should be completely clean and moistened with water.
- The objects to be disinfected must be completely dry.
- Equipment such as televisions, information equipment and other technological devices should always be kept turned off.
- When disinfecting a surface, a bleach solution should be applied for an estimated 15 minutes.
- Each of the utensils and products to be used for disinfection must be controlled and accounted for by the contracted company. In addition, they must have a technical data sheet with all the necessary information.
- The mixtures to be applied to carry out the disinfection processes in the various areas must be moistened with cold water and must be applied at the same time they are to be used.
- It is forbidden to combine products, especially if they are incompatible, so you must follow a sequence of instructions that are indicated by the manufacturer when they are used.
- As we have already mentioned in previous points, the most common disinfectant used to disinfect is bleach and this should never be applied on metallic surfaces. The reason why this product is not used for this type of surface is because it tends to deteriorate it easily. The disinfectants used should always be left to act for a period of 10 minutes before being cleaned.