Medical Centre Cleaning: Why is cleaning important in healthcare?
Any healthcare professional knows that the cleanliness of their working environment is vitally important to any patient or client’s treatment. A clean environment in a healthcare setting means going beyond ensuring a room is cosmetically tidy, and surfaces have been given a cursory wipe. A room must be cleaned to a hygienically high standard, keeping surfaces clear of bacteria and germs that may otherwise fester and infect those that it comes into contact with.
Cleaning to Accreditation Standard
Whether standards have been set by an officiating industry body or by the premise’s management, cleaning to a fixed standard requires specialist knowledge. A specialized cleaning regime means that any healthcare professional or patient can have trust that the equipment within a room will carry the minimal risk of cross-infection possible. Cleaning to an accredited standard also ensures an equal level of cleanliness throughout a facility and that the correct products are utilized in any high-risk areas. A simple example of accredited cleaning may be the use of color-coded cloths for different places. This can be agreed with any healthcare cleaning company in advance of work being undertaken so that cleaning can consistently and immediately meet the standards expected. Cleaning accreditation also gives a site manager full confidence that any industry-standard inspection can be carried out and passed at any time.
Unique Cleaning Requirements
Every healthcare setting is different, using different equipment and rooms of varying sizes, floor types, and even door handles. Differences like this mean that cleaning for healthcare requires a bespoke service for every different setting. It is vital to agree in writing the exact specifications of your cleaning requirements with a cleaning service provider such as Jenco. Some of the things that a cleaning service may ask to be stipulated in writing are:
- The regularity of the cleaning regime?
- Is there any specific equipment that requires more intense cleaning products?
- Is there any special equipment that may require more sensitive cleaning?
- Do you need cleaning to take place at a particular time?
- Are there any areas that need more specific cleaning expertise (for example, the cleaning regime of an operating theater will differ from that of a waiting room)?
- Are there any high contact areas such as door handles or keyboards that need special attention?
By creating a written record of a cleaning regime, you will be able to ensure quality control in partnership with your cleaning provider and easily update if there are circumstances, for instance, with the arrival of new equipment or updated health standards. The agreement will be curated into a clear designated task list for all cleaning specialists to ensure that every room and surface’s unique cleaning requirements are consistently met.
All products should also be agreed upon in advance in consultation with cleaning specialists. Healthcare cleanliness may require specialist products designed to eliminate bacteria and germs or be particularly sensitive to delicate equipment. A healthcare specialist cleaner can advise on the best products to use on any surface. An ethically responsible cleaner like Jenco will also ensure biodegradable and environmentally friendly products, thereby reducing your healthcare setting’s overall carbon footprint.
Many healthcare settings can be operational twenty-four hours a day, requiring a degree of flexibility on any cleaning service. While many cleaning services operate after office hours, specialized healthcare cleaning may require longer cleaning times and may also have to work around a consistently busy workplace. Therefore a healthcare cleaning company needs to specialize in working irregular hours and liaise closely with security professionals to maintain security while working late at night or early in the morning. Cleaning will not necessarily be going from room to room, as some locations may also need to be prioritized at certain times. Likewise, this also requires flexibility and adaptability on behalf of a healthcare cleaning specialist to ensure that rooms can be cleaned quickly while maintaining the professionally high standards expected.
Another reason cleaning is such a vital component of any healthcare system is the need for liability insurance. Cleaning within healthcare comes with risk beyond someone slipping on a newly mopped floor. Any cleaning company engaged in cleaning a healthcare facility must have an adequate level of insurance to safeguard against any accidents that could be dangerous within a healthcare setting. Cleaning companies that are not insured to a high level risk their practice and potentially discredit your premises’ safety record. You should always enquire about the insurance policy protecting any cleaning company before engaging their services to clean your healthcare location.
The image of cleaners gossiping as they dust the shelves may seem cliche, but it should never be found in a healthcare setting. Confidentiality is incredibly important for ensuring trust between the healthcare setting and the patients it serves. Cleaners may, through their duties, be privy to private information or aware of patient identities. Therefore, a specialist healthcare cleaner needs to undertake their professional commitment with the highest level of discretion and needs to understand the confidentiality expected of them.
Within a healthcare setting, customer feedback has to be taken seriously and acted upon incredibly swiftly. Clear open communication between the healthcare provider and the cleaning service provider has to be prioritized. The cleaning service should be easily accessible to their customers and ready to act upon any changes to the agreed cleaning standards. While other cleaning companies will also aim to meet this standard, it is prioritized as a matter of safety for patients within the healthcare setting and to ensure the healthcare system has full trust in the cleaning regime being carried out.
Finally, remember that while there are several reasons to contract a healthcare cleaning specialist, the number one reason is your patients’ and clients’ health. A room may look clean by the inspection of your eye, but germs and bacteria can be lurking on any surface. Only by engaging the services of a specialist healthcare cleaning company can you trust that your rooms and surfaces are clean to the highest hygienic standard.