Sanitizing and Cleaning Patient Rooms and Furniture Effectively

Staffs from professional cleaning service are sanitizing hospital beds and medical equipment.
by Inspace |August 25, 2022 | Blog

Hospitals or in-patient care facilities need repetitive cleaning and disinfection because of the frequency of sick-people visits and the need for a sanitary environment where patients can recover quickly.

Maintain a clean and sanitised medical environment by choosing the right kind of hospital furniture. Check out the Inspace Hospital Furniture collection for furniture that is perfectly suited to your facility.

Since the chances of health-care-associated infections, or HAIs, are rampant in these environments, disinfection and cleaning must be handled professionally and routinely.

Disinfecting a Patient’s Recovery Environment: Best Practices

People in charge of keeping patient recovery rooms clean and disinfected can adopt the following tips as best practices:

1. Move from cleaner to dirtier.

Starting with cleaner surfaces and working towards the areas with more contamination will reduce the chances of cross-contamination.

2. Tackle high surfaces and move systematically to low surfaces.

As with any cleaning task, tackling higher surfaces, or even the top of an object or device, will ensure that all the dust and contamination are moved to the lower areas before these are cleaned out.

3. Engage in pattern cleaning and move in a single direction.

Moving in a pattern while cleaning will ensure that nothing is missed. A uni-directional pattern is one example of an effective cleaning pattern.

4. High-touch areas will need prioritised attention.

High-touch surfaces, or those that are frequently used or touched by the patient, will have to be cleaned at least once daily to ensure that contamination is kept in check.

Cleaning and Disinfection: A Step-wise Plan

Cleaning and disinfecting a patient’s room must be a planned and organised task. Getting the required supplies together and following a planned routine will ensure that tasks are not missed and other areas are not contaminated when you go out to get the supplies you missed.

An effective cleaning and disinfection task will involve a PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kit, janitorial cleaning tools, hospital-grade disinfecting supplies, commercial cleaners, and other task-specific tools.

Here is a step-wise breakdown of steps you can follow for a thorough job.

STEP 1: Asses the room that needs to be cleaned and disinfected

Once the patient is secure, the staff can assess the room for obstacles, furniture or equipment that needs to be replaced, or surfaces or objects that maybe hazardous to the cleaning and disinfection process. Cleaning tools, solutions, and disinfectants can be chosen based on the needs of the room.

STEP 2: Start with trash cans

Empty, clean and disinfect both the inside and outside of the trash cans. Any solutions that need to stand for a while must be given enough time to work. Trash can liners should be placed only once the bins are completely clean and dry.

STEP 3: Move to high-touch zones

High-touch zones need thorough cleaning and disinfection to reduce the risk of contamination and spread of disease. Some of these areas include all the sides of the patient’s bed, table surfaces the patient has access to, handles and knobs, chairs and seating or lounging areas, light or fan switches, phones and other electronic devices.

STEP 4: Spot-clean visible marks

Inspect the area for visible soils on surfaces like windows, mirrors, walls, etc. Windows and mirrors can be tackled with task-specific glass cleaners, and walls need to be handled with care, using microfibre cloths and specialised products. The bathrooms can be tackled along with this task. If there is a shower provision, make sure you tackle fixtures, support bars, and related surfaces.

STEP 5: Tackle the floor

If you’re using a dust mop, run it over the floor in a pattern, without lifting the mop off the floor or shaking it off, or use vacuum cleaners to reduce the spread of dust and a more thorough clean.

Damp-mop floors

Damp-mops, which work with micro-fibre flat mops, are preferred over wet mops since you can use them with minimal fluid and have drier floors in less time. Ensure that you use a neutral cleaner fluid in this particular environment.

STEP 6: End with visual inspection and finishing.

As a final step, carry out a visual inspection of the entire room to ensure there are no signs of missed soil loads. It is also wise to ensure floors are completely dry before you take off the “Wet Floor” signs.

Once the patient is discharged or moved from the room, equipment and supplies used by the patient or used to tend to the patient must be cleaned and disinfected and moved to a place where they can be removed to the central supply area or the sterilisation department.

Treating Equipment and Furniture for Disinfection and Cleaning

Non-porous, hard surfaces are cleaned and disinfected using one of three approaches:

1. Fogging/Misting/Using zero-touch disinfection technology

Germicidal UV light, which uses UV-C wavelength light, is effective against many pathogens and works by breaking down DNA bonds and rendering the organism sterile. Using aerosolised dry-vapour hydrogen peroxide is effective in disinfecting a room.

2. Germicidal/Metal coating on furniture surfaces

Scientists have invented a solid acrylic surface with germicidal properties, but it is too expensive to use and, thus, they may only appear as surface coatings on furniture and counter-tops. Many studies have also found that certain metals like copper and silver actively work against the growth of bacteria, under the right conditions.

3. Manual cleaning

The most common method used to clean and disinfect an area is still manual cleaning, using chemical cleaners and disinfectants. Here are a few of the most common products used:

Alcohol: Handy for general cleansing and disinfection of small areas, but not an effective defence against many disease-causing germs, except mycobacterium.
Peroxide: Has low-to-medium strength disinfection power against mycobacterium and other bacteria, fungi, spores, and viruses.
Quaternary Ammonium Compound products: High-strength disinfectants found in wipes and cleaning liquids, effective for high-touch areas.
Bleach: Highly effective against the lethal bacterium C. diff, or Clostridium difficile, even though it is anti-biotic resistant.

The Importance of Using Cleanable and Easily Disinfected Hospital Furniture and Equipment

Hospitals, hospices, and other healthcare facilities must be maintained at a high level of cleanliness and sterility. Furniture and equipment used in these locations will need to be picked out, keeping in mind that they must be cleaned and sterilised frequently.

Patients with serious injuries or compromised immune systems can be prone to various diseases if surfaces are not methodically and consistently cleaned. With pathogens that can thrive outside a host for up to five months, cleaning and sterilisation can become critical in a medical environment.

Knowing how medical equipment and furniture are made can help you decide what furniture will suit the medical environment you want to furnish.

Keeping Medical Furniture Clean and Sterilised in the Long Run

1. Be mindful of keeping the overall environment sanitised and clean.

Every aspect of the environment should figure into the cleaning and sanitisation routine. Floors, ceilings, walls and windows should receive as much attention as the medical equipment, furnishings, and even the smallest factors like bed linen and upholstery.

2. Pick the right kind of furniture.

While aesthetics are important, they should not take precedence over safety and practicality in medical furniture. Furnishings should be non-porous and able to withstand years of cleaning and disinfection. Fabric can be breeding grounds for pathogens and would not withstand constant cleaning and sanitation. So, vinyl is most commonly used in medical facility furniture, and stainless steel is the most common choice for solid surfaces. The Inspace Hospital Furniture collection gives you a wide range of options for hospital furniture that we have created to help medical facilities all over Chennai.

3. Guard against cross-contamination.

High-traffic zones and surfaces prone to a high frequency of bodily contact must be constantly cleaned and disinfected regularly. Medical staff also need to be reminded about guarding against cross-contamination. Hand sanitisers and hand-wash areas must be within easy access to patients, visitors, and medical staff.

Final thoughts

Cleaning and disinfection are a cornerstone to maintaining a safe health care environment in any facility. Medical staff must always be aware of proper procedures to keep the environment safe and pathogen-free and avoid cross-contamination between patients, visitors, and staff.

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