As the healthcare industry experiences a shift toward increasing ambulatory facility usage, healthcare networks must develop effective and efficient cleaning standards. Medical clinics require high cleaning standards to keep patients safe and offer a positive patient experience.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one in 31 hospital patients has a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) at any given time. Higher-acuity patients are now seeking care outside of traditional hospital settings more frequently, while medical clinics are increasingly offering care and procedures once only seen in acute care settings. Therefore, medical clinics should maintain healthcare-grade cleanliness. Medical clinics can implement five best practices to achieve this necessary high cleaning standard.
Focus On Hand Hygiene
Hands transmit many pathogens that cause infections and serve as a primary source of environmental room contamination. Consistently practicing hand hygiene offers a simple but very effective way to prevent infections. The development of cleaning standards for medical clinics to prevent pathogen spread must focus on proper hand hygiene.
Develop Empowering Processes
Any cleaning process must consider the people, protocols, and products used, fostering an environment of teamwork among support services and clinical staff. Effective strategies should include a heightened focus on high-touch surfaces. At the same time, medical clinics should empower frontline associates to follow cleaning protocols to keep everyone safe.
Obtain Objective Measurements
Although the perception of cleanliness is essential to a positive patient experience, medical clinics must also rely on objective measurements when evaluating cleanliness or contamination. Since surface and equipment contamination near patients can impact pathogen transmission, cleaning standards for medical clinics to prevent pathogen spread should account for a clean, safe zone around each patient.
These standards go beyond appearance since environmental microbial contamination can pose a risk even if invisible to the naked eye. Objective measurements include ATP (adenosine triphosphate) cleaning verification. This cleaning measure gives healthcare facilities instant, objective feedback on a procedure's effectiveness.
Incorporate Augmentation in High-Risk Situations
In high-risk situations, other technologies and procedures can enhance basic cleaning and disinfecting steps. Some examples of tools medical clinics can use to augment basic processes include:
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation and UV application.
- Electrostatic applications.
- Air purification systems.
- Surface-barrier residual applications.
Embrace Emerging Solutions
To maintain high cleaning standards for medical clinics, healthcare organizations should embrace cutting-edge technologies and new protocols when developed. Incorporating new technology into the cleaning and disinfecting process leverages those innovations to mitigate pathogen transmission.
Medical clinics that maintain high cleaning standards require properly trained cleaning associates and experience in the healthcare setting. Patient preference for off-site facilities is continuously growing, so medical clinics need to maintain healthcare-grade cleanliness to best ensure patient safety. You set up your organization for continued success by ensuring your clinics can always adhere to a high standard for cleaning.