Let’s start with a quick story: In the 19th century, Ignaz Semmelweiss worked as an obstetrics assistant in Vienna General Hospital. Soon after beginning work, he discovered that women who were treated in the doctor-run maternity ward were becoming ill and dying at an alarmingly higher rate than those who were treated in the mid-wife run ward.
The doctors were often coming directly from performing autopsies and weren’t taking any steps in between for proper sanitation. He, and Florence Nightingale around the same time, pushed for strict hand-washing regulations but were met with resistance. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the US Center for Disease Control implemented important hygiene guidelines requiring strict hand-washing procedures and regulations; but keeping your hands clean is only the first basic step of ensuring cleanliness in a healthcare environment.
An urgent care center is a fast-paced environment with patients coming and going at all hours. From illnesses and injuries to preventative care and blood tests, your staff treats people of all ages with all types of conditions and needs. It’s vital to protect your healthcare workers and patients by adhering to facility-wide cleanliness guidelines.
In this blog, we’re discussing the top 10 tips to ensure your urgent care center is always clean and sanitary for your staff and patients.
- Maintenance of Hard Surfaces
Surfaces such as floors, walls, and tabletops should be routinely cleaned with detergents. In the event of an outbreak, especially those where resistant microorganisms are known to be present, additional cleaning solutions may be necessary. Antimicrobial surfaces such as copper and silver are more resistant to contaminants than other common surface materials and are a fantastic option for countertops and tables.
2. Sanitation Quality and Compliance Monitoring
Ensure staff members are held accountable for adhering to all recommended environmental cleaning practices. Visual inspections are an OK first step but should be supported with reflective surface markers, adenosine triphosphate analysis, and microbiological analysis.
3. Proper Cleaning and Sanitation Training
It’s vital that the entire staff of your urgent care center is aware of who cleans what, how that process is handled, and when cleaning occurs. Training and feedback on sanitary practices can significantly improve the quality of cleaning and disinfecting that takes place at your facility.
4. Carpeting and Other Cloth Surfaces
Carpeting and fabrics are a source of dust, which could also contain microorganisms. These materials shouldn’t be present in clinical or patient areas, as they’re difficult to keep clean. Avoid carpeting, cloth, and fabrics anywhere spills are likely to occur. In spaces that do have carpeting, ensure they’re routinely cleaned to minimize dust dispersion. Fortunately for many urgent care centers, these types of surfaces are already kept to a minimum.
5. Bathroom Cleaning
Bathrooms with adequate cleaning procedures generally have low levels of contamination. However, as a medical professional in an urgent care center, you’ll see all types of patients, and some may have an injury, condition, or impairment that leads to soiling. Toilets should be cleaned with a detergent and a firm nylon brush. Disinfectants shouldn’t be poured directly into the bowl as water dilutes and deactivates any substantial cleaning properties. When flushing, best practices are to keep toilet lids closed to prevent the aerosolization of any pathogens that may be present.
6. Flowers and Plants
Cut flowers and potted plants should be avoided in rooms where patients are seen, and flowers should generally only be handled by support staff with minimal patient contact. Any medical professionals that need to handle flowers should thoroughly clean their hands afterwards.
7. Laundry Handling
Contaminated linens and laundry should be handled as little as possible with minimum agitation. Don’t sort or pre-rinse any laundry in patient care areas. Linens contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids should be placed in color-coded leak-proof bags for storage in a designated area until they can be collected by your laundry service.
8. Waste Management
Healthcare waste, whether produced by patients or originating from a room or laboratory with transmission-based precautions, should be treated as contaminated. Everyday trash, including paper, packaging, and food waste is regarded as domestic waste and may be handled and disposed of as usual. Human parts, pharmaceuticals, and toxic, radiological, and laboratory waste should be discarded by following national or local guidelines. Separate healthcare waste with a color-coding system so there’s no confusion regarding what is or is not hazardous, and where certain types of waste should be stored. Healthcare cleaning specialists who handle healthcare waste must wear appropriate protective attire. Sharps and fluids require specific safe disposal procedures. Any accidental injuries involving healthcare waste should be reported to a supervisor and the occupational health department.
9. Renovation and Building Projects
All types of construction projects at your urgent care center should be planned well in advance so that proper protective measures can be taken. Projects should be separated by physical barriers and may even require partial shutdowns of the HVAC system to protect sensitive areas from contamination. If the project takes place in a walking area, ensure that there’s a clearly defined path for healthcare workers and patients to pass safely.
10. Trust In Expert Healthcare Facility Cleaners
Urgent care centers are rapidly becoming one of the most frequently visited types of medical facilities in the country. When it comes to cleanliness, you can’t afford to take any chances. Professional environmental cleaning and infection control services in urgent care centers are the best way to keep your facility clean and safe for both patients and healthcare providers. Qualified healthcare facility cleaners, like Commercial Cleaning Corporation, are trained to conduct microbial and disease remediation using proper cleaning procedures and methods for urgent care centers, healthcare facilities, and medical offices of all kinds.
Following the guidelines above will help ensure that your staff, patients, visitors, and anyone else who visits your center are protected from the spread of disease and infection. Remember that a detailed cleaning program that’s upheld by a third-party is vital to maintaining the highest level of cleanliness.
A third-party healthcare cleaning specialist provides help and support to ensure that you and your staff can focus on your patients.
For full-service, professional healthcare cleaning services for urgent care centers just like yours, count on Commercial Cleaning Corp. Contact us today with any questions or to get started with your service.