Research found one in 10 hospital patients suffer from a healthcare-associated infection. Housekeeping in hospitals is critical to reducing the spread of disease so patients don’t succumb to new infections.
If you need tips on adequate housekeeping in hospitals, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our nine best tips.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting
Hospital cleaning procedures and methods must include cleaning and disinfecting the entire room. When you clean a surface, dirt particles are removed but bacteria may still be present.
Microfiber cloths are fantastic for picking up dirt and germs on a surface. Staff must damp them with clean water or a commercial detergent so it’s effective.
Then, staff must use a disinfectant spray to kill bacteria lingering on the counters and walls. It’s easy to be complacent and only clean large surface areas, but it’s the housecleaning staff’s responsibility to disinfect the hard-to-reach places as lives are at stake.
Housekeepers must follow cleaning label instructions so the hospital room is thoroughly disinfected. If the staff skips any steps or doesn’t wait long enough for the cleaning agent to work, harmful bacteria will still be present.
Staff must also change microfiber cloths frequently to prevent the spread of bacteria throughout the hospital. When cleaning a patient’s room, if a blanket or pillow falls onto the floor, replace them immediately.
Plus, hospital staff should advise patients not to bring too many items into the room like flowers. Remind them that excess clutter could bring in bacteria which could risk the patient’s health.
- Choose the Right Disinfectant
When choosing hospital disinfectant products, consider how effective the cleaning agent is, its safety profile, and whether it will damage surfaces.
Housekeeping staff must determine whether the product’s dwell time will realistically be achieved within the cleaning process. Staff must also have a system with single-use cloths or wipes to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
- Wear Proper PPE
When hospital cleaning, staff must wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE).
Staff must clean their hands with liquid soap, or alcohol-based hand rub, and put on disposable aprons. They must also wear protective eye wear and put on latex gloves so they don’t have direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
The improper use of gloves can spread deadly pathogens. Staff must have access to different gloves depending on the patient’s rooms and tasks involving heavily soiled items.
Staff must change gloves between cleanings, never wear them in hallways, and change gloves when entering a residential room or a shared restroom. Once finished, staff must dispose of their gloves, apron, eye wear, and a surgical mask. Staff must then thoroughly clean their hands once they leave the room.
It’s important to encourage proper hand hygiene with housekeeping staff to prevent cross-contamination.
- Focus on High-Touch Surfaces
One of the most important hospital housekeeping procedures is disinfecting high-touch areas. Patients may leave behind micro-organisms on surfaces so the staff must tackle high-touch areas. This includes bed rails, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom handrails, and faucets. Frequent hospital sanitation eliminates contamination so patients or healthcare workers stay safe.
- Work From Clean to Dirty Areas
A massive mistake is cleaning the dirtiest place, often the bathroom, and moving to the cleaner parts of the hospital room. When you do this, you increase the chance of spreading pathogens throughout the room. Instead, staff should start from the healthiest patients’ rooms and finish at the sickest patient’s restrooms.
Housekeeping staff must also start from the highest point of the room to the lowest and from outside-in so staff doesn’t go back on themselves.
- Reduce Air Pollution
A clean hospital ensures all biological hazards aren’t seeping into the air stream. The hotel housekeeping staff must roll soiled bedclothes away from their body before placing them in linen bins. Staff must also securely tie garbage bags without excess air in the bag so the air stays clean for patients.
- Avoid Cross-Contamination
The biggest challenge for hospital housekeeping staff is removing and disposing of contaminants instantly. For instance, mops and rags are guaranteed to bring bacteria back into the facility so they must be removed accordingly. An effective way to prevent cross-contamination is spraying, vacuuming, and disposing of contaminants to ensure bacteria doesn’t leave the room.
- Dispose of Waste Properly
It’s crucial that the hotel housekeeping staff properly disposes of waste. Used tissues, packaging, and disposable cleaning supplies must be put inside a garbage bag and then thrown away. Avoid touching inside the bag and make sure the garbage bag isn’t overflowing. Disinfect garbage cans frequently and use liners to make cleaning and removing garbage easier.
It’s important to note garbage bags must be thick enough to prevent tear, puncture, and must be waterproof. If there are wet contents, hospital housekeeping staff must double-up garbage bags to ensure they don’t leak.
- Minimize Chemical Content
Even though disinfecting the hospital room is essential, be mindful of patients and the number of chemicals used. Not only can you harm the staff’s skin but it can irritate patients’ nasal passages. Find a cleaning solution that is effective but not overflowing with harmful chemicals.
Everything You Need to Know About Housekeeping in Hospitals
Now you know how to uphold effective housekeeping in hospitals. Housekeeping staff must have the right training, equipment, and attention to detail so high-touch surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and all waste is properly disposed of. Following the guidelines not only guarantees the housekeeping staff’s safety but also the patients. Happy cleaning!