Have you ever noticed that whenever you have a visit to the doctor, you know you are going to a clinic or a hospital, or a medical center, just by smell of the surroundings, as well as the organised seating at the waiting area. Sure, there are unfortunate times where some people might experience the worst medical checkup at a rundown medical center. However, it is essential for most medical centers, hospitals and clinics to keep their cleanliness every now and then.
Not to attract more patients, but to ensure that the area is disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of potential virus or bacteria that can be lurking around in the area, or underground. You might think that the only place that needs regular cleaning is the area where most medical practices take place, but pipes, water damage cleanup and other underground platforms that are available in these medical centers also needs cleaning up every now and then to avoid infectious or poisonous waste traveling through common pipes that everyone uses.
Other than keeping the area (building) clean, what else must be kept clean?
The medical equipment. Medical equipment is the most important equipment to be kept clean and sterilized because it is often used to treat different people with different illnesses. The number one rule of using medical equipment, especially medical equipment like syringes, is to not use it more than once. Once it has been used on patient A, then the syringe must be disposed of in a designated waste specially for disposing off medical equipment alike.
What happens if we don’t abide by the rule?
Then it will be a breach of medical etiquette, because using the same syringe on different patients will most likely spread viruses, and in the worst case scenario, it can lead to death. Hence, medical equipment must always be kept cleaned, sterilised or disposed off for the safety of the medical staff, and the patients.
Before you start cleaning your medical centers, understand the chain of infection first.
The nature of healthcare institutions is ever-changing. Everyone in the facility is constantly moving, whether it be a patient entering or leaving a room, a visitor, a member of the medical staff, or the cleaning crew making their way across the entire complex. Due to all the traveling, diseases are more likely to spread from person to person and from location to location.
Infectious disease outbreaks typically occur in these ways:
Host vulnerability: Existing conditions of employees at risk. Stressed-out, sleep-deprived, and already ill persons are at danger.
Virus or other infectious agent: A microorganism, fungal spore, parasite, or bacterial infection.
Reservoir: The favorable conditions for the proliferation of disease-causing organisms. Both people, like in the case of a hospital, and frequently touched objects, like doorknobs, can be a potential reservoir for the spread of disease.
Way Out: Transmission occurs when a pathogen is taken up from an inanimate object, such as a surface, and then used to infect a living host, such as when someone coughs or sneezes.
Means of dispersal: The means by which the infectious agent is disseminated.
Means of access: A vulnerable site where the virus can enter the body, such as a cut, an IV, a tube, an eye, or a mouth.
The transmission of an illness can be stopped by taking certain measures at various points along the cycle.
Host vulnerability: Considering the well-being of both patients and employees is a priority.
Virus or other infectious agent: Quick diagnosis, isolation of the offending microbes, decontamination, and disinfection are all essential.
Reservoir: Proper cleaning procedures, including washing hands after using the restroom and covering one’s mouth and nose when one coughs or sneezes, are essential.
Way Out: Proper trash disposal, using disinfectant on cuts and scrapes, wearing protective gear, and using sick days when required.
Means of dispersal: Isolation and negative pressure ventilation safety measures.
Means of access: Having on protective gear including gloves and a mask or goggles to cover one’s eyes and face.
Now that we understand the chain of infection, this is where the cleaning process comes in.
Cleaning crews are responsible for preventing the spread of disease at the reservoir and entrance of departure stages. However, employees must also take precautions to avoid spreading the disease.
Medical equipment sterilisation and storage
Equipment used to sanitize regions harboring infections runs the risk of becoming contaminated themselves. If a worker uses a wet mop to clean a floor and then puts the mop in the cleaning solution, the solution might get contaminated. Preventing the spread of HAIs (Healthcare-acquired infections) requires regular maintenance of cleaning equipment.
Clean and disinfect the cleaning tools
After each usage, instruments that have come into touch with pathogen reservoirs such as floors and door handles should be disinfected. If you want to get rid of bacteria and other germs on your cleaning garments, you should wash them in hot water. Disposable microfibre systems are replacing multi-use goods in many hospitals because they pose less dangers.
It’s not uncommon for germs to spread from infected to healthy thanks to wet mops. Workers may clean a section of floor, then unknowingly transfer germs from the dirty mop water to their bare hands and uniforms. Liquid cleaning chemicals may no longer be necessary if you use a professional microfiber mop kit.
Biohazard spill mops are designed to prevent the transmission of disease, and swapping to new ones frequently can help. Innovative spill mop pads, in contrast to traditional mops, are made to collect body fluids and transform them into a gel to prevent spilling. When finished, the mop head may be thrown away in the appropriate biohazard container.
To sum it all up, cleanliness in general is important to keep your area clean and tidy, especially when the area is used for urgent procedures like medical procedures or medical practices, which often deals with infectious diseases and viruses. Hence, if you are in the medical field, do make sure that you always abide by the cleanliness standard of your workplace for your own safety, and the safety of others.