Making it happen to keep the hospitals clean and disinfected is the major challenge hospital administration and housekeeping department face on a daily basis. As it is directly related to staff and most importantly patient safety issues. Enough of proofs are already available and indicate that maintaining strict hygiene at hospitals is of great importance in controlling the infection or infectious diseases.
Various conferences, seminars, and sessions have been placed to make some universal SOPs for this purpose and to bring improvements in this regard. A huge variety of cleaning products and methods are available but still, this field is the weakest area of most of the hospitals. However, strict disciplinary actions are taken by the audit teams in this regard.
Hospital cleaning checklist
It is a properly designed guideline that is a must-follow for every staff member of the housekeeping department of the hospital. It is specially designed and followed by housekeeping management to maintain hygiene and help to avoid common mistakes to happen. This checklist includes a sample of SOPs for the housekeeping department that contain all the details of what the housekeeping department is supposed to do before, after, and during cleaning of specific areas of the hospital.
It may be as follows:
- Selection of area to be cleaned, as there are different SOPs for every area in a hospital facility.
- Before the start of cleaning, check for any additional precautions indicated and follow as per SOP i.e., removing of clutter, following exactly the instructions given by the manufacturer for dilution as well as contact timing of disinfectant solution, collect all the equipment required for cleaning purpose, wash your hands, take all safety measures, etc. before entering the area to be cleaned.
- During the process of the cleaning; As a rule, one must start cleaning from the least soiled region to the most soiled one, similarly from higher surfaces to low ones, try to never shake your mop, prefer wet mops, never do double dipping of mops to minimize the risk of reinfection, follow manual guide for changing of disinfection solution, be careful while handling sharp objects, dispose of waste, handle plastic bags from the top, wash your hands properly before leaving the area, etc.
- Upon completion of cleaning an area, make sure to disinfect your cleaning tools during and after cleaning at specified intervals, carefully launder heads of the mops, dry them properly, sanitation carts used to transport biomedical waste must be cleaned and disinfected accordingly on regular intervals, etc.
- After the completion of the cleaning, the procedure checklist is signed by the housekeeper who has performed the cleaning process and the in-charge as well.
The contents mentioned for hospital cleaning log here are at most basic level and can be more specified subject to setting involved and methods/sops adapted by the management.
Like any other plan these logs are also subject to some limitations due to various reasons, for example, untrained housekeeping department, lack of knowledge about the use of disinfectant and unable to follow the manufactures instructions, inefficacy while managing time allocated for cleaning purpose, cleaners are often considered as the uneducated and menial as compared to other staff and this effect their job, shortage of staff, absence of training sessions for staff, lack of credibility, etc. In this way, many other factors also affect this procedure.