Health System Works To Improve Cleaning Protocol Uniformity

Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare recently initiated a campaign to assess the practices used to clean patient rooms and to determine best practices for environmental services departments, according to an article on the Health Facilities Management website.
Sentara, headquartered in Norfolk, developed a consistent cleaning and disinfection protocol with structured interviews consisting of questions focused on education and training; logistics, and cleaning of occupied, discharged and isolation rooms.
The interviews uncovered opportunities existed to improve standardization for processes and products across all facilities. These included education and training for new employees, annual competency and audit requirements; universal checklists and assignment sheets; and elimination of cloth cubicle curtains.
A subsequent system-wide summit resulted in three updated policies: cleaning an occupied patient room, cleaning a discharged patient room and cleaning cubicle curtains.
Each policy was detailed on the required action steps to standardize the procedure. For instance, the cleaning of an occupied isolation patient room contained 23 steps and supplemental guidance. Cleaning a discharged patient room had 28 steps. Bleach wipes were to be used for all surfaces and no microfiber cloths were to be used.
One of the main focuses was to make it easy for the staff to do the right things, the article said. For example, pictures of the high-touch areas were taken and made into a card, which was placed on the cleaning cart to remind staff of what is considered to be a high-touch surface.
Read the full article here.