Would you ever use a plain, dry paper towel to clean a toilet and call it sanitized? Not likely, unless you were kidding yourself. In health care office cleaning, we understand that disinfecting a surface is more than just wiping it. To really sanitize it, we must create the right environment – whether that means using a chemical agent or heat.
In the world of health care office cleaning, most health or medical staff are responsible for maintaining equipment and usually will do so with soaks or heat for sterilization, while janitorial staff will use cleansers specifically designed for disinfection.
To disinfect something means to kill viruses and harmful microorganisms from surfaces. This is done by wiping the surfaces with industrial grade products, and is the standard in medical and health facilities to prevent the spread of germs, cross contamination and medical facility acquired illness or infections.
What Are Medically Facility Acquired Illness?
This term is based on Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) – as the concept can be expanded to any transmission of illness caused by sick and healthy people sharing a healthcare space at any given time. In its true definition, HAIs apply to the condition in which a patient becomes infected while receiving medical treatments and include hospital, clinics and even nursing homes facilities.
These infections are caused by fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens and are more prevalent than anyone would like to believe. In fact, according to PatientCareLink.org recent studies have shown:
- There are an estimated 1.7 million HAIs in US hospitals annually
- An estimated 99,000 deaths associated with these infections occur each year
- These infections account for up to ten billion dollars annually in healthcare expenditures
If hospitals can have this problem, how much more can other medical and healthcare facilities? It’s imperative that health care office cleaning being a priority to ensure both patient and staff health, not just with regular janitorial services, but true sanitation focused cleaning.
Don’t Use Health Care Staff
Health care office cleaning needs to meet or exceed the hygienic standards of hospitals by using the right techniques, chemicals and staff trained to the highest protocols. A focus on preventing cross contamination must be a priority and accountability needs to be in place to maintain safety.
Health care employees, while trained in these areas need to be able to focus on their own specific tasks on hand, and not the additional cleaning tasks a janitorial company would handle, such as bathroom sanitation, dusting or floor care. For this reason, a health care office cleaning company should be used.
What to Look for in a Health Care Office Cleaning Company
HIPAA compliance, education in the area of blood borne pathogens, and proper sanitation methods are minimum requirements for any janitorial company providing health care office cleaning. Background checks are also highly recommended to prevent theft, tampering or privacy violations.
Janitorial staff should be up-to-date on all immunizations, and have relevant OSHA training. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be used appropriately and employees should be kept abreast of any changes in the industry that could have an impact on their or other’s health and/or safety.
How Often and Where to Clean
Daily cleaning and sanitation is expected of all healthcare office personnel, but additional daily or frequent cleaning by a professional janitorial staff is recommended. Short cuts are dangerous, so find the right balance between budget and safety for efficiency. Plan cleaning to happen during non-business hours so there is no interruption to patients or staff and the cleaning crew is able to be efficient and effective without having to work around others.
Together, create a plan for cleaning including the following areas and determine their unique frequency of attention:
Entrance/Foyer. Trash, floor care, glass care, door handles
Waiting areas. Trash, armrests, fabric care, surfaces, child areas, refreshment stations, dusting, floor care
Administration areas. Trash, furniture, surfaces, glass, dusting, floor care
Exam rooms. Trash, surface sanitization, hand basins, specimen areas, handles, dusting, floor care, paper supplies
Employee space. Trash, surface sanitization, appliances, supply management, floor care
Bathroom areas. Trash, sanitization of stalls, toilets and urinals; hand basins and faucets; soap and paper towel dispensers, supply management, floor care
Because medical offices contain mixed-use space unique to their industry, it is important to have a janitorial company that specializes in health care office cleaning. 3AClean has been serving the Greater Denver areas commercial cleaning needs since 1997 and has the knowledge and experience to not just clean your medical field office, but truly sanitize it to reduce the spread of illness. Contact us today for your free building audit and ask about our new 3D virtual commercial tour service.