It can be very challenging to clean an occupied patient room in a hospital, surgical clinic, rehab center, or nursing home facility. Yet regular healthcare cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting still need to be done to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated infections.

Meticulous cleaning and sanitizing measures will go a long way toward lowering the risk of cross-contamination between patient care areas, while also keeping medical personnel safe. All while improving patient satisfaction scores.

This calls for the best practices approach to cleaning occupied patient rooms via the following measures.

Wipe Down From Clean To Dirty Surfaces In Order

In a healthcare facility, you have to assume that all surfaces have some level of pathogenic presence. Wiping these surfaces down from the cleanest-looking surfaces to the dirtier-looking surfaces helps to reduce the chance of cross-contamination. This simple technique reduces the risk of germs and bacteria from a dirtier surface transferring to a cleaner surface.

Clean From High To Low

Cleaning in succession from high to low surfaces or from the tallest point of an object to the lowest is another one of those commonsense cleaning methods that makes a major difference in maintaining clean patient rooms. It significantly eliminates the chances of dirt and dust falling onto lower surfaces and contaminating a previously cleaned area.

Clean In One Direction

When wiping down any surface, you want your staff to be cleaning in one direction. Not only does this ensure that they don’t miss any areas, but it also serves to move bacterial materials away from patient areas. This methodology further helps collect debris and ensures that surfaces that are cleaned at the start have time to dry, without risk of cross-contamination.

Prioritize High Touch Surfaces

The high-touch surfaces in an occupied patient room are one of the prime places where microbial cross-contamination occurs. Prioritizing high-touch surfaces as part of the routine disinfecting process will go a long way toward ensuring a sanitary environment for your patients.

This goes beyond obvious things like light switch covers and door handles. You also need to include high-touch surfaces like handwashing sinks writing utensils, and for some patients, even the floor near their bed.

Additional high-touch surfaces that may need priority cleaning and disinfecting include:

  • Railings
  • Phones
  • Keyboards
  • Nursing Carts
  • Bed Rails
  • Chairs
  • Monitors
  • Any Reusable Equipment or Machines
  • Remotes
  • Meal Trays/Carts
  • Handwashing Sinks
  • Sink Faucets
  • Toilet Seats

Develop A Schedule For Cleaning Low-Touch Surfaces

It can be all too easy to forget about low-touch surfaces such as walls, baseboards, and corners. Yet they can be just as prone to building up microbes and other pathogenic substances that you don’t want cross contaminating your occupied patient’s room.

To make sure these low-touch surfaces are being cleaned routines, you need to set up a weekly or twice-weekly schedule. That way everyone involved in patient room cleaning knows that the low-touch surfaces get cleaned every Tuesday and Thursday, or whatever schedule is appropriate for that patient’s environment.

Use High-Quality Cleaning Products & Disinfectants

The truth is that a lot of the cleaning and disinfecting products sold at the retail level simply aren’t potent enough for safe use in most healthcare environments. Making sure that you are giving your cleaning staff access to true commercial-grade cleaning products will go a long way toward ensuring that your occupied patient rooms are being disinfected in a way that eliminates the risk of cross-contamination.

This often involves contracting with a commercial or medical-grade cleaning product supplier for cleaning products as well as cleaning equipment. Then make sure that every member of your cleaning staff is trained and well-versed in how to use them correctly. This includes information on what cleaning products can and cannot be used together.

Most healthcare facility cleaning crews find it helps to keep all the cleaning supplies on one portable cart. This ensures that they don’t miss anything or aren’t forced to skip something as they move from one occupied patient room to another.

Keep The Patient Informed

Some patients tend to have their own preferences on when they want their room cleaned. Especially in long-term care facilities. Taking the time to set up a loose schedule based on their preferences or the treatments they are scheduled to receive in a given day will go a long way toward maximizing patient satisfaction scores.

What Is The Best Process For Cleaning An Occupied Patient’s Room?

When cleaning a patient-occupied room, it often helps to stick to the same steps performed in order every time. This ensures that nothing is missed and that all cleaners know what their duties are. If possible, you can even translate it into a checklist.

Then before you even set foot in the occupied patient room, you need to have all of your cleanings and disinfecting equipment on hand, or in a close-by portable cart. When your cleaners are ready, you can meticulously clean the occupied patient room using the following steps.

  • Step One: Perform A Preliminary Room Assessment
  • Step Two: Empty All Trashcans & Dispose Of Sharps
  • Step Three: Disinfect The Trash Cans
  • Step Four: Clean And Disinfect All High Touch Areas
  • Step Five: Carefully Spot Clean All Visible Marks On Walls, Windows, & Other Glassware
  • Step Six: Vacuum Any Carpeting
  • Step Seven: Dust Mop Floor If Needed
  • Step Eight: Damp Mop Floor

Consider Hiring Out A Professional Cleaning Company

Some healthcare facilities find that it’s easier to contract a professional cleaning company like Building Services Inc. to handle their occupied patient room cleaning needs. This ensures that you have highly trained cleaning experts handling all your critical cleaning and disinfecting needs.

You and your medical staff can rest easy knowing that commercial and medical-grade cleaning products and equipment are being used at all times. Our expert cleaning technicians use a discerning eye to make sure that nothing is missed. All the while performing our duties with the utmost discretion and respect for your patient’s privacy.

At your preference, we can schedule to have our cleaning crews service your medical facility on a routine schedule, or we can assign a dedicated cleaning crew to be on hand as needed.