Doctor’s Office Cleaning Protocol: Are You Doing Everything Right Now?

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded everyone (professionals and individuals alike) of the importance of thorough cleaning. Cleaning offices, cleaning of premises, disinfection or even decontamination were already essential before… They have become vital today.

Has the new virus changed anything in the cleaning protocol in medical offices? A place where bacteria inevitably circulate daily and which must be carefully cleaned. Are you doing everything necessary to clean your medical office?

Before COVID-19: what medical office cleaning protocol?

Before the appearance of this pandemic and the frenzy of antibacterial cleaning in all public (and even private) spaces, medical offices were already subject to a somewhat particular cleaning protocol…

Particularly because absent. That is to say, there is no restrictive cleaning protocol planned for a medical practice. Premier Janitorial Services, director of LG Clean, noted this originality: “A medical office is not subject to the cleanliness and hygiene rules of a hospital, for example. It’s a healthcare center, but we run it like any other office.”

It is up to each medical practice to establish its cleaning protocol with its cleaning service provider. The protocol can still be inspired by a series of recommendations established by the High Authority of Health in 2007.

HAS recommendations for medical practices

In 2007, the High Authority of Health issued a document to guide medical practices in their hygiene and cleanliness protocol. It aims to prevent the risk of infection in medical or paramedical settings. But it remains purely indicative. So, it’s not binding.

Here are some of these recommendations:

– Clean from “less sensitive” areas to the most sensitive. Starting with the secretariat and administrative rooms, then the waiting room and the corridors, and ending with the examination room(s). Favor vertical cleaning: from the ceiling to the floor. 

For furniture {“less sensitive” areas}

Clean with a simple detergent after damp dusting.

– Clean the phone, and the door handles between each room with a cloth soaked in a detergent-disinfectant.

For rooms such as medical offices, examination and treatment rooms

Maintenance of any surface is carried out by damp wiping with a clean textile (reusable or single-use cloth) or single-use non-woven support impregnated with a disinfectant detergent. To change the furniture and equipment of each area. If using reusable cloths, provide different colors for the different types of items to be dusted (hanging items, furniture, etc.). 

– Do not re-soak the cloth in the detergent-disinfectant solution to avoid contaminating it.

For the examination and treatment room

With another cloth soaked in detergent-disinfectant, clean the work surface, the treatment cart, the examination couch, the step, and the stool. Clean commonly used medical equipment (blood pressure monitors, stethoscopes, etc.) with a cloth soaked in detergent disinfectant. In the event of contamination with an obvious infectious risk, put the equipment aside and notify the doctor, who will do appropriate disinfection. 

– Clean the door handles with a cloth soaked in detergent-disinfectant. 

– Clean the sinks and taps with scouring cream and a cloth, then rinse. 

– Disinfect with bleach (one part bleach with 2.6% water diluted 1/20 in cold water) or with a detergent-disinfectant using the cloth reserved for cleaning the sinks and washbasins.

Management of special waste

There are two types of waste in medical practices, as in some beauty salons and tattoo studios. “DIB” is ordinary industrial waste (conventional, food, packaging, etc.). On the other hand, “DASRI” (healthcare waste with infectious risks, thrown into specific yellow bins). 

How do you manage your cleaning business? Caroline Le Guérinel has the answer: “As a cleaning company, we do not manage DASRI. This is the role of specialized companies that follow their specific destruction chain with their containers, incineration process, etc. No one else should handle this waste due to the risk of contamination. »  

However, the COVID-19 epidemic has created a new problem in this area. This is the case for disposable masks.

“Normally, these masks are supposed to follow a similar treatment to DASRIs. They should be thrown into a separate bag. This bag is sealed, double-bagged, dated, and kept for 48 hours before being thrown into a container. »

Nursing staff, already over-mobilized, can hardly support such a protocol. However, involving a premier cleaning services on at least a daily basis makes improving this process and respecting this infectious risk prevention protocol possible.

COVID-19: what is the difference in protocol in a medical office?

In reality, the appearance of the virus has not generated new restrictive standards for medical practices.

It is, of course, recommended to ventilate waiting room and examination room-type spaces every 15 minutes. You should disinfect contact areas (door handles, armrests, chair backs, etc.) several times a day and space patients out as much as possible. Eliminate handshakes and disinfect instruments, as was already done in medical office cleaning. On the cleaning side, maintenance workers continue to wear gloves and can use a certified veridical product if the client (the medical practice) requests it. 

So that these missions are not solely the responsibility of the medical and administrative staff of the practice, we strongly recommend providing more sustained intervention from cleaning agents who can take care of them. Strengthening your cleaning system can provide valuable assistance to your practice, helping limit the contagion risk. 

For Premier Janitorial Services, it is more necessary than ever “to listen to the recommendations of your cleaning manager. This is a professional who knows his field and can adapt his work to the specificities of your medical practice (occupancy rate, hours, space, etc.). »

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