Patients today are acutely aware of the risks of infections from unclean surfaces and materials in medical offices. The public will judge your medical office based on its cleanliness, and you could be judged in a courtroom if a patient acquires a healthcare-associated infection (HAI).
Reduce your liability while you grow your medical practice by properly managing your medical office cleaning. Here are three tips to protect your patients and improve your medical practice.
1. Know the Infectious Culprits
Healthcare settings are prime areas for the growth of infectious human pathogens. Every surface in a medical office from the computer keyboard to the exam table is exposed to infectious agents during the course of a normal working day.
Pathogens that are routinely present in medical office settings include:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Clostridium difficile and Clostridium sordellii
- Candida auris
- Acinetobacter species
Infectious human pathogens, including those listed above, can make healthy people sick and can be fatal to medically compromised people.
Use a professional cleaning service to manage your medical office cleaning needs. A professional cleaning service trains their cleaning staff on the proper disinfection methods for floors, windows, sinks, and office furnishings. They stay on top of research on eliminating pathogens from the medical office environment.
2. Implement Mobile-Equipment Disinfection Strategies
Throughout the day, mobile equipment in your medical office is exposed to pathogens spread via skin, blood, and bodily fluids. Mobile equipment can be a prime vector for the spread of HAIs because portable medical tools are moved from room-to-room and may not be wiped down between uses.
HAIs can be spread by:
- Diagnostic machines and devices
- IV poles
- Medical carts
- Computer carts
- Oxygen tanks and machines
Develop a protocol to ensure that all mobile medical equipment is sanitized between patients. Studies have shown that your staff will comply with sanitation and disinfection strategies when you provide easy access to disinfecting agents and properly train your staff on the use of the materials.
When patients see your staff taking HAIs seriously and wiping down your mobile equipment between uses, the patients pay attention. Your patients have more confidence in your concern for their wellbeing, and they may recommend your practice to others.
3. Remember the Waiting Room
Your patients' first impression starts in the waiting room. If your waiting area is bright and tidy, you show your patients that you value cleanliness in your facility. A clean waiting area can make the difference between a patient staying for treatment and walking out in disgust.
Busy waiting rooms can become dirty fast. As patients and their loved ones cycle through the waiting room, they leave behind pathogens in a variety of ways.
HAIs can be spread in waiting rooms via:
- Drink cups and bottles
- Doorknobs and door handles
- Bathroom surfaces
- Dirt and debris from shoes
- Trash and used tissues
- Contact with seats and other surfaces
Instruct staff members to clean your waiting area several times a day. During each cleaning session, staff should empty trash receptacles, clear all cups and debris from tables, and vacuum or sweep the floor.
Non-toxic disinfectant wipes should be used on all heavily contacted surfaces in the waiting area. Surfaces including doorknobs, seats, toys, reception counters, and tabletops should be sanitized several times a day to reduce HAI spread among patients.
Patient restrooms should be deep cleaned by your professional cleaning service as scheduled. However, your staff should monitor waiting-room bathrooms throughout the day and disinfect them as needed to lower the risk of HAIs from pathogens on sinks and toilets.
Leave the best impression with your patients by hiring Metro Maintainers Building Services to professionally clean your medical office in the greater Little Rock region.