Infection control measures are required to protect patients and staff from harmful contaminants in any healthcare environment, but especially in outpatient facilities. Environmental cleaning processes for outpatient and ambulatory surgical centers must be specifically tailored to reduce health risks for your highly susceptible patients.
Facility administrators are responsible for providing the necessary resources to maintain a safe environment. Luckily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) publish clearly defined parameters regarding safety and operations for outpatient facilities. Brush up on the basics below, and then double check that your janitorial staff has the tools and training to follow today's standards.
Require Setting-Specific Training
The CDC recommends that all healthcare personnel and contractors, including your healthcare cleaning provider, receive task-specific training focused on patient and staff safety. All healthcare workers need to know basic hand hygiene and when and how to wear personal protective gear for their own safety and to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria to others. Instruction on how to properly handle and remove bloodborne pathogens, sharps and surface contaminants is also key to maintaining infection control throughout the facility.
Training for healthcare janitorial staff should cover setting-specific use of disinfectantsso you get the right amount of decontamination for every area of your facility. Training should be ongoing and updated with new policies, procedures and products as needed.
Standard Precautions and Best Practices
"Practicing hand hygiene," including handwashing with soap and water and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, "is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections," according to the CDC's guidelines for hand hygiene in healthcare settings.
Healthcare practitioners and janitorial staff should practice safe hand hygiene after:
- Making contact with bodily fluids
- Touching contaminated surfaces or laundry
- Removing protective gear
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Practitioners and cleaning technicians should wear proper protective gear in contaminated areas to prevent direct contact with infection-causing germs and bacteria. Depending on the specific environment and material, gear should either be discarded or thoroughly and properly washed after use.
- Mouth, nose and eye protection
- Long pants and fully sleeved clothing
Proper environmental cleaning removes harmful contaminants to reduce or prevent the spread of infection in outpatient treatment and high-risk surgical centers. Adhere to these and all the outpatient cleaning practices recommended by the CDC to achieve optimal results:
- Establish standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfection throughout your facility.
- Provide policies and training to properly clean spills of bodily fluids and harmful materials.
- Before disinfecting, clean away visible soil by scrubbing surfaces with detergent and water.
- Use EPA-registered disinfectants and follow manufacturer instructions regarding dilution ratios, surface contact time and safe disposal methods.
Implementing setting-specific training standards and adhering to industry-wide precautions and environmental cleaning procedures will help you maintain higher patient safety and satisfaction ratings. To help support your efforts, the experienced professionals at ServiceMaster Clean® developed our patient-centered healthcare cleaning protocols. Learn how our customizable healthcare cleaning programs can help contribute to your ROI today.