Tips to Reduce Cross-Contamination in Your Healthcare Facility
Cross-contamination is a common problem in many offices. A healthcare facility is one example of where germs, viruses, and bacteria thrive. In order to prevent cross-contamination, the commercial janitorial service you employ must do everything they can to provide the deepest cleaning on all levels. Staff must also do their part to keep the facilities clean.
What is cross contamination in healthcare?
In healthcare, cross-contamination is the transfer of harmful microorganisms, mostly viruses, and bacteria. The infection can spread between people by not cleaning hands after contact with body fluids and touching pieces of contaminated equipment and within the body. Medical professionals work tediously to ensure that the environment is clean and equipment is properly handled.
What are the most effective ways of preventing cross-contamination?
Create an Infection-Control Policy
An infection control policy includes which patients have the highest risks of contracting or passing hospital-acquired infections. The policy should also provide information on when patients should be placed in isolation to prevent contact with other patients and hospital staff.
Provide Infection Control Education
Your hospital staff should know how to identify common infections and help prevent their spread. Your health care organization should provide current and updated education on infection control. This may include training on the bloodborne pathogen and droplet-borne infections.
Provide Isolation-Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
If patients have a contagious illness, the healthcare facilities or hospitals need to provide appropriate isolation equipment to the staff and patients. Some of the isolation-appropriate protective equipment includes waterproof gowns, gloves, shoe covers, masks, and face shields.
Disinfect and Keep Surfaces Clean
Every room in your health care facility should be cleaned thoroughly with a bleach-based cleanser. Make sure to regularly clean the non-patient areas like breakroom and nurses' stations to prevent accidental-transmission of infections between patients, hospital staff, and other people visiting your healthcare facility.
Prevent Patients from Walking Barefoot
Nurses and other hospitals' staff can carry pathogens into the other areas and patients' rooms. To prevent cross-contamination, encourage your patients to wear slippers or non-slip socks when walking in the hospital.
Store Foods at Proper Temperature
For food safety reasons, the hospitals and healthcare facilities should check the temperature setting of their refrigerators in every shift that stores patients' snacks and foods.
Schedule Deep Cleanings on a Regular Basis
Deep cleanings should be performed at least twice a week or more. Doing so ensures that every area of the facility has been thoroughly disinfected and will prevent germs from being transferred from one location to another.
Make Sure to Use the Right Cleaning Supplies and Sanitation Tools
Deep environmental cleanings cover even the smallest hiding areas where germs try to hide. Using green cleaning solutions that contain a hospital-grade disinfectant and microfiber cloths will help to take germs out before they have a chance to become entrenched in the nooks and crannies of the office.
Encourage Proper Hygiene in the Workplace
To prevent cross-contamination in any healthcare facility, the first line of defense is the staff. Staff members who consistently use proper hygienic practices while treating patients can reduce the risk of cross-contamination tremendously. Placing and using containers of anti-bacterial gels and hand sanitizers in each room and along the corridors will stop germs in their tracks.
Preventing cross-contamination doesn't start with commercial cleaning services. It's everyone's responsibility. Staff members can take action to reduce the risk of spreading germs, so the cleaning crew can make quick work of the facility, even on nights when a deep cleaning is scheduled.