5 Areas Hospital Cleaning Crews Often Overlook
Medical facility and hospital cleaning is serious business. Proper cleaning and disinfecting is crucial to overall health and safety and is a vital aspect of any infection control program. And while hospitals and medical facilities are very stringent with infection control protocols, recent studies show that there are still areas within these facilities that are routinely overlooked. Here are five areas within your medical facility that cleaning crews might be missing:
1) Privacy Curtains
Privacy curtains are designed to provide privacy for patients and are likely one of the most touched items in a hospital setting. Nurses, doctors, visitors, and patients are coming in contact with these cloth room dividers and every one of them is potentially leaving germs behind. In fact, a recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control tracked the contamination of ten freshly cleaned curtains and within two weeks, nearly 90 percent of the curtains had been colonized by potentially dangerous antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA).
While there are no CDC guidelines specific to privacy curtains, it is recommended that these be changed out at least weekly with freshly sanitized curtains.
2) Bed Rails
Like privacy curtains, bed rails are touched by a variety of people in a given day. Healthcare professionals, visitors, and patients are touching these rails on a regular basis and the bacteria they leave behind can survive for weeks. Studies have shown that MRSA can survive for nearly a year on these stainless steel structures. Without regular cleaning and disinfecting, bed rails have the potential to spread germs and bacteria throughout your medical facility.
Bed rails should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, but more frequent cleaning is recommended.
3) Over-The-Bed Carts
That little rolling cart on which your delicious hospital meals are served is a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and germs. Bed carts are a high-touch item on which bacteria is being deposited and picked up multiple times per day. Considering that these carts are typically used to serve food cleaning and disinfecting them should be a priority. This is not a place where germs should be present.
These items should be wiped down with disinfectant after every use and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every day.
4) IV Poles
According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, these mobile hangers for IV fluids harbor various strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These ‘Superbugs’ are highly infectious and difficult to treat as they are resistant to common antibiotics.
Patients and staff alike should use hand sanitizers before and after touching the IV pole and the poles should be cleaned and disinfected daily.
5) Elevator Buttons
Elevator buttons are one of the most touched items in any building and in a healthcare setting, they can harbor a huge number of nasty germs. Countless individuals utilize the elevator every day and with every press of a button, there is the potential to leave behind (or pick up) germs and bacteria. According to a recent study in the journal of Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, more than one-third of 48 buttons swabbed were contaminated with MRSA.
The reality is that elevator buttons are often overlooked by cleaning crews and they have the potential to become virtual Petri dishes for a plethora of germs and bacteria.
Want Expert Advice On How To Keep Your Medical Facility Clean And Safe?
Complete Care Maintenance can help with all of your medical facility cleaning needs. We provide expert advice and on-site facility evaluations to ensure that your facility’s specific needs are met. Call or contact us today to get started!