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Streamline Your Cleaning Processes

Cleaning and disinfecting are some of the most important steps in preventing the acquisition and spread of infectious diseases. In healthcare, different levels of "clean" are needed in different areas.

General cleaning involves dirt and dust removal similar to that of an office building. Disinfection, a higher standard of clean, is generally defined as reducing the number of microbes on a surface to very low levels. This requires the use of hazardous chemicals. The degree of toxicity is usually closely related to the level of disinfection required, generally the stronger the disinfectant the more dangerous it is for staff to use.

One larger medical center realized they were using 60(!) different housekeeping chemicals throughout the facility. These products were not located or purchased centrally and the cleaning process was not clearly defined. In addition to using too many chemicals, the healthcare center was concerned about MSDS compliance and also disposal costs.

First, management staff reviewed all the cleaning chemicals being used and stored on the shelves. Next, the CDC's Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health Care Facilities, were used to evaluate which surfaces required cleaning or disinfecting.

Once that determination had been made, the number and type of chemicals needed to clean and disinfect were identified. Replacement cleaners, if needed, were chosen based on pH, flashpoint, smell and cost. Unnecessary redundant chemicals were eliminated and improved processes achieved.

New cleaning procedures were created that reduced confusion and also cut cleaning time. Since OSHA requires cleaning schedules to be documented, use Form 7 in your Quality America OSHA Safety Program Manual or Form 6 in your Dental OSHA Safety Program Manual to do the job.

Ultimately, the medical center plans to see nearly $25,000 of cost savings by:
-Reducing the number of surfaces disinfected unnecessarily
-Eliminating redundant chemicals
-New procedures that save cleaning time
-Using concentrated cleaners in reusable bottles

Source: http://mntap.umn.edu/source/2007-2/green%20cleaner.html

Posted by Quality America on January 22, 2008 | Comments (0)


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