Promoting Cleanliness In
Hospitals and Clinics
Reasons and Benefits
Hospitals and clinics play a vital part in the growth and development of communities all over the world by providing healthcare services. However, if not kept clean, they can also be dangerous and toxic environments for patients, workers and visitors due to the high levels of micro-organisms that are often present within their walls.
Keeping hospitals and medical clinics clean, as you can imagine, come with a range of benefits. It helps to:
- Reduce costs as it relates to the financial burden on the healthcare system. Studies have shown where methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has directly increased healthcare costs to society by between 30% - 100% between the 1990s and mid-2000s.
- Prevent legal action (families may sue if death or illness to a patient is deemed to have been caused by uncleanliness).
- Promote comfort and a high morale among workers.
- Maintain the institution’s good reputation for cleanliness.
Hospital Cleaning History
The hospital itself is an ancient institution, with the first one thought to exist in Sri Lanka in the year 431 BC. Over the centuries, the hospital has not only spread to every corner of the world, it has also continuously evolved. As it relates to cleaning, the importance of cleanliness is said to have been first promoted by the Romans in the 1st century and included the use of antiseptics such as vinegar and thyme oil. In the 19th century, the importance of handwashing came to light and was promoted among hospital workers who delivered babies.
Fast forward to the 21st century and hospital cleaners involve a wide range of detergents, disinfectants and procedures. The smell of hospitals and clinics have improved significantly from the days of ‘bad air’ and governments have enforced strict hospital cleaning guidelines to ensure these environments are kept clean on a regular basis, as the threat of nosocomial infections have been studied at length.
Preventing Diseases and Infections
The practice of cleanliness is important to all areas of life but requires even keener attention in healthcare environments due to the potential for disease outbreaks. With almost 100,000 people reportedly dying from healthcare associated infections (HAIs) in the U.S. in 2002, the powers that be in that country and many others around the world, have sought to implement measures to keep hospitals cleaner.
Cleaning measures to prevent diseases and infections are focused on two main areas: cleaning surfaces regularly, and activities to prevent and control infections. They involve the use of various cleaning agents and cleaning procedures to prevent transmission of contagious diseases and reduce the level of micro-organisms present at any given time.
Types of Cleaning
The most common methods of cleaning hospitals and clinics include the use of various detergents and disinfectants containing chemical compounds. While these have proven to be effective, many of the chemicals found in these substances present their own set of health risks. As a result, greener cleaning solutions have been sought and developed. These products have been increasing in popularity due to their ability to provide the same level of antiseptic cleaning properties, without posing contamination risks to patients and hospital workers, while having little to no impact on the environment.
Common Cleaning Mistakes to be Avoided
Hospital cleaning programmes are geared towards reducing infection risks. Mistakes that are often made which jeopardize the safety and health of workers and patients include:
- Not wearing the correct protective gear.
- Not sterilizing instruments that need to be reused.
- Reusing disposables (needles etc.).
- Using incorrect or ineffective cleaners.
- Taking longer than required to clean an area.
- Utilizing an unclean room for delicate medical procedures.
Keeping a hospital or clinic clean is no doubt hard work but should be done routinely to ensure proper standards are maintained. One of the best ways to ensure cleanliness is to secure the services of a reputable cleaning company that has expert knowledge on cleaning hospitals and using the right products and equipment. Green Eco Clean - we provide cleaning services in London including cleaning support to healthcare and medical sector. We provide a range of specialist services to successfully reduce the risk of infections and diseases and our cleaning contracts are tailored to your needs. We are flexible and affordable. For more information on our services - Get in touch.