Medical facilities are among the most challenging locations to clean, sanitize, and disinfect.
Compared to locations such as office spaces and industrial facilities, medical facilities pose a greater risk of harboring illness causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses than many other facility types. The risk of contracting these diseases is also higher given the frequent contact of medical equipment with bodily fluids.
Deep cleaning for medical facilities goes beyond the daily clean-up tasks. It encompasses a detailed, thorough cleaning process that targets every nook and cranny in the facility, including areas often overlooked during routine cleaning.
Proper deep cleaning involves the use of multiple cleaning agents and enough equipment to ensure each area is sanitized with fresh materials.
Additionally, advanced methods like hydrogen peroxide fogging should be used when cleaning medical facilities for highest possible standard of disinfection.
With this in mind, ensuring all cleaning staff are properly trained and provided necessary equipment is key for maximizing the health and safety of patients and healthcare providers within the facility.
Bacteria, fungi, and viruses common in medical facilities
While any facility where human activity occurs can harbor dangerous microorganisms, medical facilities have a much greater potential to collect and grow disease-causing pathogens.
Some of the high-risk diseases and organisms commonly present medical facilities include:
- Candida auris
- Enterobacterales, including E. coli
- Gram-negative bacteria
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS)
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- COVID-19 and variants
Due to the threat of these disease and illness causing organisms to patients and staff, a deep cleaning service for medical facilities must include stringent protocols that eliminate the risk of cross-contamination and multiple cleaning and disinfection agents to appropriately neutralize the risk of contamination and disease outbreak.
Medical facility areas that require a deep cleaning procedure
All medical facility cleaning staff must be properly trained on CDC environmental cleaning techniques utilizing methodical and system approaches to disinfecting each area. Additionally, staff must keep documentation checklists for every area cleaned to ensure nothing is missed during the deep clean.
The following areas are vital to sanitize and address when performing a deep cleaning procedure in a medical facility:
High-touch surfaces and medical equipment
In a medical facility, high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, medical equipment, and devices are frequently in contact with staff, patients, and visitors. Such areas serve as hotspots for germ transmission. Deep cleaning should prioritize these areas, employing stringent cleaning and disinfection protocols.
Flooring and carpeting
Floors and carpets can accumulate dirt and harbor harmful microorganisms. The deep cleaning process involves intensive vacuuming, mopping, and floor sanitizing with approved disinfectant cleaners, and in the case of carpets, steam cleaning may also be used.
In addition to surface cleaning, maintaining air quality is also paramount. Deep cleaning should include HVAC system checks and cleaning to ensure efficient filtration and to prevent the spread of airborne contaminants.
Restrooms require particular attention due to the higher risk of pathogen presence. All fixtures, including toilets, sinks, and walls, need to be cleaned and disinfected rigorously.
Cleaning equipment and chemical checklist for medical facilities
While there is much crossover between standard cleaning equipment and products and those used in medical facilities, there are some additional considerations. Cleaning staff must be diligent when it comes to using PPE, and regularly changing PPE such as gloves and gowns throughout the cleaning process is vital to prevent spreading illnesses from one area of the facility to another.
Cleaning chemicals must be applied to the appropriate surfaces using fresh equipment in each area or location. For example, mop heads and water must be changed out more frequently, and rags should never be reused on multiple surfaces.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All cleaning staff should use the following personal protective equipment when performing deep cleaning in a medical facility:
- Eye protection
- Isolation gown
- Powered air purifying respirator or N95 respirator in high-airborne risk areas
Cleaning cart contents
Each cleaning cart should be equipped with the following setup, depending on the location within the facility being cleaned:
- Disinfectant bucket
- Wet mop bucket
- Wet mop handle
- Dust mop handle
- Counter brush
- Dust pan
- High duster
- Putty knife
- Door stop
- Toilet brush & holder
- Safety goggles
- Dust mops
- Microfiber towels
- Wet mops
- Blue cleaning rags
- Green cleaning rags
- Paper towels
- Trash and biobags
- Cleaning checklist for each area
Note that multiple rags, mop heads, toilet brushes, and other consumable cleaning supplies should be present on every cleaning cart to improve efficiency and minimize the risk of reusing soiled equipment in multiple locations.
The following basic chemicals must be included in a medical facility deep-cleaning kit:
- Neutral floor cleaner
- Heavy cleaner
- Cream cleanser
- Bathroom cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Clorox bleach wipes
Advanced disinfection with hydrogen peroxide fogging
Beyond a disciplined approach to cleaning with rags, PPE, and standard industrial disinfectants and cleaners, medical facilities benefit from the advanced technique of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) fogging. This method uses advanced equipment to release aerosolized H2O2 into enclosed areas.
Research has shown that H2O2 fogging is more effective at killing MRSA and other pathogens compared to traditional cleaning methods alone.
Modern state-of-the-art cleaning methods for medical facilities must include H2O2 fogging to reach the highest possible standard of disinfecting.
The role of trained professionals in medical deep cleaning
The major threat to health and safety posed by improperly cleaned medical facilities as well as the stringent protocols and advanced methods needed for a proper medical deep clean makes hiring a professional cleaning service a vital aspect of maintaining any facility that provides healthcare.
If you run a medical facility and want to ensure the safety of your patients and healthcare staff, speak with one of our experts today and discover how our team will handle all of your medical facility deep cleaning requirements.