It is widely believed that the leading cause of death in hospitals is infection, but this is not entirely true. The actual leading cause of death in hospitals is sepsis. Sepsis is a condition in which an infection spreads to an organism's bloodstream, causing widespread inflammation throughout the body.
Although studies show that the cause of this condition is usually unrelated to the quality of care that patients receive in hospitals, it is still of the utmost importance that medical facilities maintain the cleanest possible environments to stave off infection among their patients.
This is why JBM Janitorial provides specialized medical facility cleaning services to help keep people within these essential establishments safe. Whether they know it or not, doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors rely on professional cleaning services like JBM to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care while preventing the spread of diseases.
In today’s article, we will be talking about the process that JBM uses to set the gold standard for medical office cleaning services.
Medical Office and Hospital Cleaning
When cleaning a medical office or hospital, it is important to follow a strict set of guidelines to ensure that the facilities are always ready to receive new patients. Following a set of standard procedures for medical office cleaning services will reduce the chances of essential steps being missed or completed poorly.
Here are some tips on how to keep your medical office or hospital clean and keep your patients out of harm’s way.
Understanding Different Types of “Clean”
Usually, when we say something is “clean,” we mean that it doesn’t look dirty. But when talking about medical office cleaning services, we need to understand the essential differences among different levels of cleanliness and how these apply to individual surfaces within a healthcare environment.
Cleaning - Cleaning refers to the act of removing dust, dirt, oils, and other contaminants from a surface or environment. In a hospital or medical office setting, cleaning services will perform basic house cleaning in areas such as waiting rooms and hallways. This can involve dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and window washing, but medical office cleaning services will apply another level of cleaning when it comes to “high-handle” surfaces.
Disinfecting - Disinfecting is the next level of cleanliness that should be used for treating areas that people frequently touch. As it is defined by the CDC, disinfecting is performed with the use of a chemical cleaning agent that is able to kill all or most pathogenic microorganisms.
Disinfection is appropriate for treating all surfaces where pathogens are likely to be present, such as armrests, door handles, and desktops. Disinfection should also be used when cleaning bathrooms, patient rooms, and surgical venues since these are all areas where surfaces are likely to come into contact with harmful microorganisms at some point throughout their everyday use.
Sterilizing - Sterilization is a specialized cleaning process that kills and removes all viable pathogenic microorganisms from a surface, and this is typically reserved for medical instruments that come into contact with non-intact skin and/or mucous membranes.
Because sterilization requires professional equipment for removing pathogens and packaging sterilized devices, most medical office cleaning services cannot provide sterilization services.
Instead, sterilization services are typically performed by other third-party companies or within the hospitals themselves.
Spaulding Classification - Spaulding Classification is a method for identifying the level of risk presented by individual surfaces and objects depending on their use, then cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing them accordingly.
This classification system was first presented by a microbiologist named Earle Spaulding in 1939, and it has since become the standard form of classification for medical devices and facilities.
JBM Janitorial uses the Spaulding Classification system to train employees on cleaning procedures since it is considered the standard for the entire medical industry.
Using an Individualized Strategy
Not all medical offices will have the same needs, and medical office cleaning services will take the nature of each office into account when developing a cleaning strategy. For example, a chiropractic clinic and a dentist’s office will have different requirements for how their workspaces are cleaned.
Cleaning a chiropractic clinic will focus on maintaining a clean and organized environment, with a particular emphasis on disinfecting treatment tables and equipment. On the other hand, a dentist’s office will require strict adherence to infection control protocols, including thorough disinfection of dental chairs and areas where sterilized tools are prepared for use.
Understanding the specific needs and regulations of different medical specialties allows medical office cleaning services to adapt their approach and ensure that each medical setting maintains the highest standards of cleanliness appropriate for the area of its practice.
Having a System
To ensure that medical facilities meet the highest standards of cleanliness, medical office cleaning services like JBM have a strict set of guidelines to keep their cleaning practices consistent with their commitment to safety and quality.
In order to equip employees with the knowledge and experience they need to carry out their duties effectively, medical office cleaning services provide extensive training both on and off-site.
Most of JBM’s training staff has been with us for over 20 years, and they are well-versed in HIPAA and OSHA guidelines for medical office cleaning services. As such, JBM has developed a strategy for medical office cleaning services that is in line with industry standards, as well as our own commitment to excellence, and this is exemplified in how we prepare our employees for their jobs.
When entering a new facility, medical office cleaning surfaces will perform a walk-through to identify which areas present a higher level and risk and require specialized cleaning. This allows them to create a daily checklist for what needs to be cleaned, how each area needs to be cleaned, and what should be avoided.
For example, medical office cleaning services do not handle biohazard waste bins since these can present an immediate risk to the janitorial staff’s health and well-being. OSHA stipulates that biohazardous waste must be handled and disposed of while following a specific set of guidelines, which is why hospitals and medical offices contract with specialized companies for this type of waste removal.
Knowing the layout and specific needs of a medical facility allows medical office cleaning services to complete their cleaning duties more quickly, efficiently, and consistently.
Having the Right Tools
Medical office cleaning services need to keep all of the essential tools and supplies on hand to carry out their cleaning duties efficiently and effectively. Supplies include mild disinfectants, strong disinfectants, mops, vacuum cleaners, degreasers, glass cleaners, paper towels, gloves, and microfiber cloths.
Microfiber cloths - Microfiber cloths are an essential cleaning tool that will be used frequently by medical office cleaning services to disinfect surfaces throughout their cleaning routine. Microfiber cloths provide excellent absorption for carrying cleaning solutions and removing surface contaminants.
Janitorial staff will need to switch out their soiled microfiber cloth for a clean one every time they finish cleaning a specific area or surface, which is why having a large supply of these is important. Soiled microfiber cloths should be properly stored in a sturdy bag until they can be washed and sanitized.
Cleaning solutions - It is also essential to have the proper type of disinfectant for every area and surface. For example, you wouldn’t want to use the same disinfectant on floors as you would on tables. Floors are typically made from materials that are able to withstand strong cleaning agents, and they usually do not come in contact with skin or clothing. As such, using an ammonia-based disinfectant would be suitable for disinfecting floors, but you would not want to use the same cleaning solution for a surface where people sit or work.
When cleaning surfaces that come into contact with skin and clothing, it is important to use a cleaning agent that is not likely to provoke an allergic reaction or skin irritation. Areas such as desks, chairs, tables, and counters should be cleaned with non-toxic solutions that combine cleaning and disinfecting properties. Medical office cleaning services will often use peroxide or alcohol-based solutions for these types of surfaces since they are effective for removing dirt and oils while neutralizing most pathogens.
Medical office cleaning services also take into consideration the materials that they are disinfecting when choosing the right cleaning solution. Using caustic disinfectants on surfaces such as wood, paint, or laminates can remove the outer surface, leaving a dull and unattractive finish.
Gloves - Gloves are an absolute must for medical office cleaning services, and they should be changed frequently and methodically. Gloves should be changed every time a member of the janitorial team finishes cleaning a room, switches cleaning solutions, handles garbage, or comes into contact with themselves or another person.
Although frequently changing gloves reduces the risk of cross-contamination, janitorial staff must also be aware of what they are handling when using dirty gloves. For example, if someone is repeatedly switching their bottle of cleaning solution from one hand to the other, they may be creating additional opportunities for cross-contamination to occur. Ideally, the cleaning solution should stay in one hand while the other is used for cleaning and grabbing new microfiber cloths.
Paper Towels - Medical office cleaning services employees should always have a plentiful supply of paper towels for instances where microfiber cloths are not ideal. These instances might include cleaning surfaces where microfibers might leave streaks or small fibers.
Paper towels are also ideal for cleaning up bodily fluids since they can be discarded. When cleaning up blood and other potentially hazardous substances, using a disposable cleaning cloth will ensure that there is no risk of cross-contamination or spreading of infectious materials. Proper disposal of contaminated materials is crucial to maintaining a clean and safe environment in medical offices, reducing the potential for infections and protecting both staff and patients.
Cleaning with a Practical Approach
When cleaning a medical office or hospital, it is important to clean different areas according to their importance. For instance, medical office cleaning services will prioritize areas like surgical venues over areas like lobbies and waiting rooms.
Prioritizing more highly susceptible areas will help to ensure that fewer contaminants are brought into these spaces. It stands to reason that cleaning a surgical setting directly after cleaning bathrooms would present additional risks since contaminants could potentially travel from the restroom to the surgical area on the janitorial staff member’s clothes, shoes, or hands.
Furthermore, cleaning highly-controlled areas should be done in a logical order of operations, starting from the top and working down, as well as working from the back to the front. By starting high, contaminants like dust and hair are less likely to be left behind. To put this in context, if one were to dust the top of a shelf after cleaning a table that is directly below the shelf, contaminants from the shelf could fall onto the table and contaminate the table’s surface.
Also, once everything has been cleaned from top to bottom, medical office cleaning services employees should clean the floor starting from the back of the room while working their way to the door. This will eliminate the need for backtracking, which can further contaminate areas that have already been cleaned and sanitized.
It is also important to use the proper PPE when cleaning areas where blood and other bodily fluids may be present. In addition to gloves, cleaning staff should also wear scrubs, booties, hair nets, and sometimes surgical masks. This will reduce the chances that cleaning staff will leave outside contaminants in the area, while also ensuring that nothing hazardous is able to leave with them.
Medical Office Cleaning Service by JMB Janitorial
JBM is a nationwide janitorial company that provides a diverse set of cleaning services. From medical office cleaning services to sports stadiums, JBM does it all.
We first started JBM as a group of business leaders who saw a need for consistent and reliable cleaning services, and we set out to create a company that could meet the specific cleaning needs of a variety of different businesses and locations.
Since our founding over 20 years ago, JBM has gone on to become one of the largest cleaning service companies in the nation, and we are proud to keep all of our employees and branches under one roof. Because we do not franchise our services, we are able to provide a consistent commitment to quality and safety across every industry and business we serve.
At JBM we believe that we only succeed when our clients and employees succeed, which is why we treat everyone we work with like family.
Click here to get a quote for our trusted medical office cleaning services!