An unclean reception area in any healthcare setting is a red flag for patients. Thorough cleaning and disinfection measures must be extended from exam rooms to your medical office's waiting room to cut down on germs and ensure positive patient impressions throughout all areas of the facility. While routine cleaning cannot eliminate the risk of disease transmission, effective medical reception area and waiting room maintenance are essential for the health, safety, and happiness of patients and staff.
To maintain a pristine atmosphere in your medical waiting rooms, make a more positive impression on patients, and even help improve your facility’s HCAHPS scores, build a custom medical reception area cleaning checklist that addresses each of the following six areas:
1. HANDLES AND DOORKNOBS
Although patients aren’t likely to inspect your medical reception area's door knobs and handles, any high-touch area should be cleaned daily, and perhaps even multiple times per day, to help reduce the spread of pathogens or germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that you disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently because they come into contact with so many hands and germs.
2. CARPET AND OTHER FLOORING
Even with regular vacuuming and spot cleaning, commercial carpeting in healthcare settings can easily trap allergens, dust, and even germs from the staff, patients, and visitors continually traipsing through. If your medical reception area contains carpeting, rugs, or floor mats, professional carpet cleaning penetrates deeply to ensure fibers stay fresh and don't irritate patients with accumulated allergens. Although somewhat easier to maintain, hard flooring should also be cleaned, polished, and repaired regularly to ensure a safe and sparkling environment for patients.
Furniture with hard surfaces is fairly easy to wipe down on a daily basis, but upholstered furniture in medical reception areas can be a bit trickier to handle. Upholstered furnishings must be deep cleaned by trained professionals to ensure proper contaminant removal for a truly clean waiting room.
4. WASTE RECEPTACLES
Medical environments produce a lot of waste, which means there are a lot of waste receptacles to keep clean. All trash cans, laundry hampers, sharps receptacles, biohazard containers, and similar items should be not only emptied regularly and appropriately, but also cleaned and disinfected frequently themselves. Washing exteriors and interiors of trash bins can improve appearances, cut down on unpleasant smells, and even help reduce disease transmission.
Never allow trash receptacles in your medical reception area to overflow, both to cut down on germs and to improve patient impressions.
5. BOOKS AND MAGAZINES
While some reading materials can be wiped clean and moderately disinfected, most magazines cannot. When the reading materials in your medical office show signs of over-use, it’s time to replace them. Unkempt magazines and reading displays can actually detract from the clean and well-organized appearance of your professional medical office setting, so organize and refresh reading materials on a regular basis.
6. DUSTY SURFACES
Just like wiping down counters regularly, dusting is critical to the maintenance of medical reception areas. It's easy to overlook things like window ledges, trim, blinds, and potted plants during routine cleaning, but if patients spot dirt or dust in these areas, they may wonder what other corners are cut when it comes to your medical facility’s cleanliness. Include these easy-to-miss areas on any waiting room cleaning checklist you create.
Your patients and employees deserve a clean and healthy environment, but it can be hard keeping up with cleaning tasks when you're busy running a medical practice. Partnering with a professional cleaning service with experience in the healthcare industry can help ensure your medical reception areas and exam rooms stay patient-ready day in, day out. Contact the professionals at ServiceMaster Clean® to learn more about our customized environmental cleaning services for healthcare setting