The Importance of Proper Cleaning in Aged-Care Facilities

Aged care facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the cleanliness and sanitation within their facility is maintained to the very highest of standards. Not only do proper cleaning practices and procedures reduce the risk of spreading infections and illness to the vulnerable elderly residents, it also helps to keep the staff who work in these places healthy so they can continue to provide their services. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced and certified to clean in an aged care environment. Read on for our guide to the importance of keeping these facilities clean and the cleaning challenges that may be faced on a daily basis.

Aged Care Facilities Must Adhere to Strict Industry-Specific Regulations

Aged care facilities are bound by their own cleaning standards, and for good reason. A delicate environment where, if standards aren’t strictly adhered to, consequences can be detrimental. Few other industries are subject to both audits and unannounced visits to inspect their compliance to defined standards, and the facility’s accreditation and ability to continue accepting new residents may be impacted if they are found to be in breach.

Proper Cleaning Reduces the Risk of Illness and Infection

Elderly adults are more susceptible to sickness and infections, and even minor ailments can be fatal to their weakened and vulnerable immune systems. Common bacteria that can be found in aged care environments include VRE, MRSA, C.difficile and gastro, and when an outbreak of these types of infections occurs, there are significant costs involved including extra resources, closure of facility areas, extra staff and reputational damage. Regular cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and work spaces is one of the most important ways of reducing the risk of illness and infection. Areas such as kitchen benches, bathroom sinks, toilets and doorhandles all need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly using the proper cleansers and sanitisers to remove harmful bacteria.

The main touch-points that must be cleaned and sanitised in a resident’s room include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Basin and taps
  • Chairs
  • Bedside tables
  • Bed and bed railings
  • Transport trolleys
  • Wardrobes
  • Windows and drapes
  • Objects such as medicine cups, remote controls, phones, walking frames

What Are the Challenges of Cleaning in Aged Care Facilities?

Working around people – cleaners become part of the facility’s everyday world, so much so that residents may see a cleaner as often as nurses or other staff. This means that aged care cleaners must be able to interact with the residents and their visitors appropriately, they must also show tact and discretion in regards to the privacy of residents, understand the importance of cleaning up spills and other hazards in a timely manner and know when to call for medical assistance.

Daytime cleaning – aged care is one of the few industries which requires most cleaning work to happen during the day, as opposed to many industries where cleaning is preferred after hours. This creates a few challenges, such as the continual flow of people in and around the area being cleaned increasing the risk of cross-contamination, slips, trips and falls. Unlike cleaners in other industries, cleaning staff in aged care homes are unable to rush through their tasks while no one is around, instead they must navigate far more variable elements including residents, staff, visitors, objects and equipment. As such cleaners must have a high awareness of their personal movement as well as the positioning of cleaning equipment like vacuums, brooms, buckets, power cords and other cleaning tools.

Ensuring that every surface and work area has been cleaned and sanitised is of utmost importance to the health and wellbeing of those who live, visit and work in aged-care facilities. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced in cleaning aged-care facilities, we work to the highest standards, and have the quality assurance certification, ISO9001. Our cleaning staff are trained in cleaning standards designed to mitigate and manage the risk of the spread of disease or infections. Contact us today for more information or for a free quotation.

The Importance of Hospital Cleanliness

Cleanliness in hospitals and other medical facilities is critical due to the fact that the spread of germs and infection can seriously endanger individuals who are already at risk. Nosocomial infection is the name given to hospital-acquired infections (HIAs) which are unrelated to the original illness being treated. According to recent statistics, an estimated 200,000 HIAs occur each year across Australia with the consequences sometimes fatal. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are certified and highly experienced in cleaning medical centres and hospitals throughout Melbourne. We understand that maintaining cleanliness levels to the highest standards is important not only to adhere to legislation, but to reduce the spread of illness and infection, helping to save lives.

Ensuring a Clean Hospital Environment

Cleaning regulations in medical environments are understandably strict, so cleaning should be undertaken by a professional cleaning company with experience and expertise in cleaning medical facilities and with staff who clearly understand the expectations and standards required.

Keeping a health care facility clean involves:

The Proper Use of Gloves

The improper use of gloves can spread dangerous and infectious bacteria. Different gloves should be used for different tasks, patient rooms, and jobs involving heavily soiled items. Gloves must always be changed between tasks, should never be worn in hallways, and cleaning staff must their wash hands after removing gloves.

Focusing on High-Touch Areas

Cleaning staff should focus on cleaning and sanitising the most-touched surfaces. These include beds and bed rails, door handles, basins, taps, phones, and remote controls in patients’ rooms. Counters and chairs in waiting rooms, toilets and taps in restrooms. The more an area is touched, the greater the likelihood of it containing dangerous bacteria.

Avoiding Cross-Contamination

One of the biggest challenges for health care cleaning staff is the removal and disposal of contaminants before they infiltrate other areas of the hospital. Mops and cleaning cloths pose a high risk of spreading bacteria to other parts of the facility. Cleaning staff should be trained in procedures involving spraying, vacuuming, and disposal of contaminants to ensure bacteria doesn’t leave the room.

Safely Disposing of Contaminated Materials

Whether you have soiled linens, dirty cleaning fluids, or contaminated biological materials, there should be no chance for contamination during removal. Knowing how and where to dispose of contaminated materials and liquids is as important as the cleaning system itself.

Cleaning in Health Care Facilities is Different to Other Industries

Hospitals, medical centres and other health care facilities pose a number of challenges to cleaning contractors. Such challenges include:

  • Training – intensive orientation and ongoing training are required for cleaning staff in a medical environment. This is due to the many physical and health-related risks involved, as well as the required documentation and supervision.
  • Documentation – there are extensive checklists, operating procedures, sign-off sheets and communication books that are commonly used to track and validate that work is completed as specified. Staff must ensure these are properly maintained at all times with correct and specific details.
  • Supervision – there is no room for error in a medical environment, therefore cleaning contractors must be adequately managed and supervised. Multiple government and private agencies monitor, audit, inspect and approve the operation and funding of health care facilities and these groups often conduct testing to ensure cleaning results are up to standard.
  • Risk – cleaning in health care environments poses greater risks to staff including potential exposure to infectious materials, medical-waste disposal, and increased risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries to cleaners, patients, visitors and staff.
  • Security and confidentiality – cleaning staff must maintain confidentiality about the activities and occupants in health care facilities.

Hospital cleaning is a crucial part of overall health and safety, as it’s a major contributor to controlling the spread of infections. Prestigiously certified with triple ISO certification, Cleaning Edge Solutions specialize in industrial and commercial cleaning for Melbourne health care facilities. Highly regarded as one of Melbourne’s most reliable and professional cleaning companies, we can expertly take care of all of your hospital and medical centre cleaning services. Cleaning Edge Solutions, will be able to give you the peace of mind that your facility is being cleaned to the highest standards to ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors and staff. Contact us today for a free quotation.

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