When accidents, diseases and emergencies arise, societies depend on healthcare facilities to provide necessary treatment. Nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers support the well-being of mass populations and provide sick individuals a place to recover and avoid further injury. Without these facilities that care for loved ones, many communities would not be able to sustain healthy environments.
In a health care facility, it is important to clean all inanimate objects that could host infectious diseases. This reduces the amount of disease-causing organisms on a surface in order to protect patients, especially those that have compromised immune systems and are more susceptible to illnesses. In order to keep themselves and others safe, cautious procedures must be put in place to stop the spread of germs. While simply cleaning or sanitizing is not enough to kill 99.9% of disease-causing bacteria on a hard, nonporous surface, disinfection is.
With the novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, being declared a pandemic, let us take an in-depth look into the healthcare industry to see exactly what areas are of highest concern.
AREAS OF CONCERN TO DISINFECT
Common Areas: Common areas include cafeterias, lobbies and waiting areas that accommodate hundreds of patients, families and staff. Inside these high-trafficked areas are standard amenities that are vital to daily operations and comfort of visitors. Even the most miniscule of items being frequently touched, like light switches, elevator buttons, door knobs, arm rests and hand rails all require regular disinfection.
Reception Desk: Reception, otherwise known as the information desk, is the main gathering point for new patients and staff. Items on this desk are handled by administrators, nurses, doctors and technicians throughout the day and then exchanged back and forth from patients who may be infected. Everyday office supplies, such as copiers, staplers, printers, phones, clipboards and more are used across many roles. Keeping these everyday items clean, and disinfecting daily, will help slow the spread of disease.
Patient Rooms: The majority of objects guests and staff come in contact with will be in a patient’s room. Remember to disinfect mundane devices like TV remotes and call buttons, but also consider desks, over bed tables and bed rails. Maintenance equipment in the room, such as PTAC units, will also need to have their coils disinfected to reduce airborne bacteria and mitigate risk of spreading infections. With patients spending most of their time inside their rooms, it is important for all surfaces to remain uncontaminated and free from disease-causing bacteria.
These high-traffic areas may be your facility’s top concern, but do not forget about other common spaces, such as bathrooms, cafeterias and waiting rooms, when executing your cleaning and disinfecting procedures. To learn more about how you can through disinfect your facility, read our blog on disinfecting hard surfaces.