How to Clean an Aged Healthcare Facility

Way before this pandemic came and grabbed us by the ankles, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities for the aged were already required to put an extra layer of safety and protection against infectious diseases. This doesn’t come as a surprise as older people are more likely to catch sickness easily due to a weakened immune system or underlying chronic conditions. However, in the backdrop of the progressive pandemic, it may take more than the usual practices done by companies providing commercial cleaning services to keep the spreading of the virus in check especially in a high-risk setting like that of a nursing home.

In the face of COVID-19, the future of commercial cleaning will continue to see a heightened sense of priority and upgraded means to attain a high level of cleanliness standard in every healthcare facility and nursing care home that can turn into a hotspot for infectious diseases easily without appropriate guidelines.

Below is a proper guide to ensure that your nursing home continues to become a safe haven for our beloved elderlies. 

Organizing staff schedules and keeping records

Documentations are the key to staying on top of things. Creating an organizational chart of each person and their responsibilities establish a systematic filing with regards to schedules, routines, and coverage area. It is also imperative to put into writing cleaning procedures to make sure that each task is done accordingly and with the best practices in mind. Furthermore, tasks should be properly distributed among staff and other orderlies, with the objective of ticking off an activity in a general checklist once it has been completed or performed. Keeping track of the chores performed by the staff ensures that none of the tasks are overlooked or forgotten. 

If complaints should arise, these concerns must also be documented so that proper action can be done to remedy it promptly. 

Preparing the cleaner’s trolley properly

The trolley is every cleaner’s Swiss Army knife. This trolley should include everything that each commercial cleaning service personnel could need to attend to their daily functions dutifully. 

There are rules of thumb when attending to the trolley that each cleaner should follow without exceptions. Gloves are mandatory to use for all times, and any form of contact with products inside the trolley is prohibited without its use. Mixing cleaning products are also forbidden as doing so can trigger perilous chemical reactions. The manufacturer’s instructions for use of products are to be followed with strict compliance. Temperature and contact time must also be monitored. 

Organizing the contents of the trolley also employs a certain grace to go about. Cleaning equipment such as cleaning chemicals, disinfectants, and wipes should be at the top. Toilet paper, gloves, and hand sanitizers go in the middle. Brush and shovel are designated at the bottom shelf, along with the bucket for used swabs, wipes, and mops. The lid of the rubbish bin can be removed with the use of a foot to minimize contact with the garbage. 

An important tip to follow for the best cleaning practice– eliminate the use of sponges, coconut brooms, and wooden handles as these tend to lock in moisture and can become a nasty hotbed for bacteria.

The standard bedroom cleaning method

Maintaining the cleanliness of bedrooms in an aged facility is crucial since the majority of the residents’ time is spent here. Waste disposal takes place first. Then ventilation follows for getting rid of pathogens. Cleaning must take on a systematic pattern, starting with the clean areas leading to the dirtier parts, and with a top to bottom order. Always take note of contact time when using disinfectants and descaling products to minimize emergencies and chemical exposure. 

Keeping a superb hand hygiene before, after, and whenever required is obligatory.

Cleaning surfaces

Surfaces are the most exposed parts of a nursing home for the aged which makes these a breeding ground for harmful germs. You will be surprised at how quick the transfer of bacteria from a surface to an object happens in a healthcare facility. Cleaning these surfaces entails the use of warm water and a neutral detergent, followed by a thorough rinse. However, high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, beds, and windows should be given extra attention. 

The use of microfiber cloths is found to be greatly effective in bringing down the levels of airborne particles in a closed space. Vacuuming is not always recommended, as this should only be done in properly ventilated rooms.

Dry and wet mopping techniques

Dry mopping, also known as dust mopping, must be done first before proceeding with wet mopping so that there is less chance for the water to become contaminated with pathogen-carrying particles, especially if there are a lot of areas to cover. 

As a best practice, disposable microfiber cloths are a great choice for both dry and wet mopping especially in high exposure areas, as this material sweeps every bit and crumb efficiently.

Cleaning bathrooms

Places exposed to high levels of moisture are more likely to turn into microbial nests which is why bathrooms earn a notorious spot in being a bacteria-infested location, and should be cleaned daily for ensuite bathrooms, and at least two to three times a day for communal bathrooms.  Everything, from toilets, walls, floors, even sinks, and fixtures, must be scrubbed and sanitized. Nothing goes untouched.

Taking care of biohazards

Biofluids like blood and vomit can carry highly infectious diseases, which is why spills of this kind must be dealt with urgency and with imposed seriousness. Outsourced medical cleaning companies should be well-informed about using spill mops that are specially built for biohazard mess.

Proper waste disposal

Each type of waste must be handled differently in a care facility for the aged. For clinical waste, the use of exclusively marked bins and biohazard containers are implemented. General waste, while less threatening, must still be secured properly until collection. It must be noted that regular collection of waste hinders the bacteria to spread.

Laundry

Linens and other beddings must be changed once a week or in the instance of soiling. Used beddings must be placed in a secured bin until time for washing. In the event of heavy soiling, it is required to place these beddings in bags so that leaks will be prevented.

Personal protection and proper hand hygiene

Because of the nature of their job, it is critical for cleaning personnel to exercise proper hygiene practices at all costs. Personal protective equipment is a must. Gloves, face masks, and eye protection gears are required in preventing infection as well as contracting harmful effects brought about by chemical exposure. Proper and frequent handwashing is heavily advised.

While it can be daunting to try and find comfort in these trying times, nursing homes for the aged should still be able to provide continuing safety for our elders. At a delicate moment like this, the promise of safety and care should not waver, but all the more, grow to live up to the nursing care mission.

Outsourcing medical cleaning is the top priority during this point in time. It is high time that you get the most efficient one so that you can carry on with being a community that takes good care of the elderly.