Choosing the Right Medical Cleaning Service
From an NHS Hospital to a beauty or dental practice, cleaning regulations for medical facilities are very strict and special qualifications are required. Cleaning companies contracted to the medical sector are responsible for infection control and for providing a hygienically clean environment both for patients and medical staff. So it’s important to pick someone who knows what they’re doing and trust their experience and qualifications.
According to WebMD, hand washing is the most effective action taken in the prevention of spreading germs, but disinfecting hard surfaces and thorough cleaning of patient rooms, floors, waiting rooms, offices and bathrooms are just as important.
Germs are most commonly spread by touching surfaces, floors, bed rails, light switches and even call buttons. In a medical environment, infection or bacteria spread can be out of our hands and it falls to the healthcare facilities to provide a safe environment.
It can be quite a daunting task for a medical practice manager to find a qualified cleaning company. They must ensure that whichever contract cleaning company they choose, they have the capacity to take on all the responsibilities associated with the daily cleaning of a medical facility.
Choosing a healthcare cleaning service is an important decision
There are many healthcare cleaning services out there, but how do you know that your contractor will deliver high-quality cleaning services in such a busy environment?
Here are 4 vital questions you should ask when researching your next medical cleaning company.
Is your cleaning company CQC Compliant for Medical Cleaning?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) require healthcare cleaning companies adhere the a series of guidelines and comply with “Outcome 8 – Cleanliness and Infection control”.
Medical cleaning companies you hire should follow guidelines and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of environmental or airborne pathogens. Through appropriate use of cleaners and disinfectants as well as medical equipment, the cleanliness of the environment helps ensure user confidence and reduce healthcare related infections.
Is your healthcare cleaning company regularly inspected?
Your medical cleaning contract might be advertising their qualifications and awards, but how can you be sure they are regularly audited and the standards are being kept high at all times?
When choosing a specialist medical cleaning company, you should ask about measurements they take to maintain the standards, prevent cross-contamination and improve infection control.
A good indicator of high standards and qualification is that they will be members of Infection Prevention Solutions. This means that their medical cleaners are trained by Infection Control Nurses, accredited by the Royal College of Nursing.
This also means that their work is regularly being monitored and audited to ensure the standards are kept and regulations are followed. As an example, here at Total Clean we undertake Environmental Cleanliness Audits and ATB swab testing regularly to ensure the environment and equipment are clean and fit for purpose. This is a requirement of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.
Is your cleaning company experienced in your specific type of medical facility?
Different medical environments have different requirements when it comes to cleaning and infection control. The procedure for cleaning a dentist’s surgery is completely different to that for an NHS hospital operating theatre.
Nevertheless, medical cleaning professionals require special training and procedures for each healthcare facility either in the private or public sector.
The medical cleaning professionals must understand the dangers and different factors which can influence their cleaning pattern. A GP Surgery will require a more thorough cleaning and decontamination process. As well as being responsible for properly disposing of “red bags” which have come in contact with blood, a medical cleaner may also be in charge of cleaning and disinfecting medical equipment, floors, waiting room sofas and surfaces.
Is your medical cleaning company kind to the environment?
Last but not least, you should be able to assess a medical cleaning company based on their environmental policies. Commercial cleaning companies are not only responsible to provide a healthy and safe medical environment but should also be committed to mitigating their impact on the environment.
Apart from using green cleaning products and disinfectants, you should also look at partnerships with and accreditations from relevant environmental organisations such as ISO Environmental Management Policy or CO2 Balance.