The spread of disease and infections is a major concern in healthcare facilities like hospitals, clinics, outpatient surgery centers, nursing homes, and other medical settings. Terminal cleaning reduces the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) by removing potentially infectious materials from the environment. When terminal cleaning is performed, special cleaning products and methods are used to ensure that all surfaces, equipment, and other items are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Outsourcing healthcare facility terminal cleaning to a professional cleaning service offers many benefits.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Cleaning Service
Among the benefits of outsourcing terminal cleaning are:
- Expertise – A professional cleaning service will have trained and experienced staff knowledgeable in the proper techniques and protocols for terminal cleaning to thoroughly clean and disinfect a facility. They follow strict protocols and use EPA-approved disinfectants to eliminate germs and bacteria, helping reduce the risk of infections and illnesses and improving the facility’s overall cleanliness and hygiene. Professional cleaners follow proper infection control protocols, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and using EPA-approved disinfectants.
- Efficiency – A professional terminal cleaning service will have the necessary equipment, supplies, and resources to complete the job efficiently and effectively. This can save time and resources for the facility, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
- Flexibility and convenience – A professional cleaning service is available to clean your facility on a schedule that meets your needs, including daily, weekly, or monthly cleanings and after-hour and weekend cleanings to avoid disruptions.
- Consistency – A professional cleaning service will ensure that all terminal cleaning is performed consistently and to a high standard every time, reducing the risk of infections and other health hazards.
Cleaning Frequency, Method, and Process
According to the CDC, risk determines cleaning frequency, method, and process in routine and contingency cleaning schedules for all patient care areas.
- Probability of contamination: Heavily contaminated surfaces and items require more frequent and thorough environmental cleaning than moderately contaminated surfaces, which in turn require more frequent and rigorous environmental cleaning than lightly or non-contaminated surfaces and items.
- Vulnerability of patients to infection: Surfaces and items in care areas containing vulnerable patients (e.g., immunosuppressed) require more frequent and rigorous environmental cleaning than surfaces and items in areas with less vulnerable patients.
- Potential for exposure to pathogens: High-touch surfaces (e.g., bed rails) require more frequent and rigorous environmental cleaning than low-touch surfaces (e.g., walls).
Areas of Healthcare Terminal Cleaning
The following requires terminal cleaning after a patient has been discharged or vacated the area.
- Patient Rooms
- Patient Bathrooms
- Isolation Rooms
- Intensive Care Unit
- Operating Rooms
Terminal Cleaning Procedure
- Gather all equipment required for terminal cleaning at the point of use (e.g., mop bucket, mop, disposable color-coded cloths, yellow clinical waste bags & tags, alginate & red bags, wet floor sign, and a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE), i.e., disposable apron and gloves, before entering the room; discard all disposables in the room/bed space/unit (e.g., hand towels, magazines, bottles, toilet rolls, etc.) All materials must be disposed of as clinical waste.
- Prepare cleaning and disinfecting solutions in a container (dilution as per manufacturer’s instruction). Never mix chemicals.
- Ensure adequate ventilation of the area or room; the door should be left open if there is no window when applying hypochlorite/chlorine dioxide solutions.
- Use disinfectant solutions per the manufacturer’s instructions, particularly dwell time. In particular, rinse chlorine-containing solutions from stainless steel surfaces to prevent corrosion.
- Use disposable cloths/paper rolls for cleaning during the terminal cleaning. Where available and appropriate, use disposable mop heads. After use, these should be disposed of into a clinical waste bag before leaving the area/room.
- Ensure that PPE is changed when moving from one room or area to another and disposed of into a clinical waste bag.
- Always decontaminate your hands after removing and disposing of PPE.
- Avoid leaving and re-entering the area or room until terminal cleaning is completed.
The local cleaning/disinfection policy or procedure will specify the specific disinfectant used in terminal cleaning. Hypochlorite or chlorine dioxide solution will kill bacteria, and viruses provided it is used per manufacturers’ instructions. Hypochlorite solutions are corrosive, and it’s recommended that the solution is rinsed off commodes, mattresses, and stainless steel surfaces with warm water at the end of the process. Some chlorine dioxide solutions don’t require to be rinsed off.
There are many benefits to hiring a professional cleaning service specializing in terminal cleaning. They will have trained and knowledgeable staff experienced in terminal cleaning methods, processes, and protocols. They will also have the necessary equipment, supplies, and resources to complete the job efficiently and effectively.
Additionally, a cleaning service can work around the healthcare facility’s schedule and even clean after-hours or on weekends to minimize disruptions. Furthermore, hiring a professional cleaning service can be more cost-effective than handling the cleaning in-house, especially when the facility lacks the resources or staff to do the job effectively.
Why Your Healthcare Facility Needs Cleanstart Terminal Cleaning Services
Cleanstart has over 25 years of experience in the commercial cleaning & janitorial industry and specializes in healthcare terminal cleaning. Our highly knowledgeable team follows all terminal cleaning best practices and protocols. We’ll ensure that all surfaces and equipment in your facility are cleaned and sanitized to the highest standard to prevent cross-contamination and that patients, staff, and visitors are safe.
Call Cleanstart at (253) 921-2593 to learn more about our comprehensive terminal cleaning services and request a free estimate, or fill out our contact form today. We serve the following areas in Greater Puget Sound:
Auburn, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bremerton, Factoria, Fife, Gig Harbor, Graham, Kent, Lakewood, Olympia, Puyallup, Renton, Seattle, South Hill, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, Thurston County.