One of the many duties of staff members at medical clinics is to ensure everyone is meeting the cleaning standards of the office. Even though staff and patient safety is the top priority, you also want the medical office to be clean and welcoming for patients. A clean, organized environment makes an immediate impression on patients, letting them know you take all their health needs seriously.
Private practices are highly competitive, so keeping your patients happy is more important than ever. You may be doing your best to keep your medical office clean, but have you ever wondered if your current cleaning regimen could be more effective?
The CDC and OSHA have set industry standards for medical office cleaning. These research-based procedures ensure staff and patient safety, lower risks of healthcare-associated infections, and reduce cross-contamination. Here are the critical areas for medical office staff to focus on when cleaning the clinic.
Disinfect high-traffic areas
Furniture and other surfaces in high-traffic areas, like the waiting room, are prone to collecting bacteria, dust mites, and other germs. Staff must keep up with industry standards when cleaning by wiping these areas down with EPA-registered disinfectants.
Medical offices' most common high-traffic areas include drawer handles, faucets, cabinets, chairs, and sinks. The same goes for specialty rooms like X-ray areas or suturing rooms. In the reception area, focus the cleaning on phones, computer equipment, clipboards, door handles, and counters.
When dust accumulates on surfaces, people wonder how clean the rest of the office might be. Dust buildup in medical offices can aggravate respiratory conditions and carry germs that can spread illness. Regular dusting of surfaces throughout the clinic is an easy way to keep the space feeling clean while eliminating dust mites and bacteria from getting into the air.
Stay away from using feather dusters. All these tools do is move the dust around without correctly picking it up. Instead, use a dampened cloth, a small handheld vacuum, or a microfiber duster.
Never wait until dust is visible on surfaces. The longer you wait to clean, the more likely it is to build up bacteria on these surfaces. Patients with allergies are susceptible to dust aggravating them, so dust at least three times a week to keep your patients safe.
Clean examining rooms
All areas of examining rooms need a thorough cleaning after each use. These areas are susceptible to cross-contamination between doctors, nurses, and patients; therefore, it need extra attention when cleaning. Clean the lights, countertops, and treatment chairs with the proper disinfectants.
After each patient leaves, wipe down all doorknobs, cabinets, light switches, and other high-touch zones. These areas are highly susceptible to germs as they often go unnoticed when cleaning. Keeping these areas disinfected will give patients peace of mind and allow staff to keep them safe from potential accidental infections.
Keep the bathrooms clean.
It may seem like common sense to keep the bathrooms clean, but these areas often go unnoticed when the office becomes busy. The state of the bathroom reflects your clinic’s attitude towards cleanliness. Patients who use your bathroom and see that paper towels are lying around, soap stuck to sinks, and other dirty areas may not want to be treated in that office.
Restroom checks need to be done regularly at all medical clinics. Set a schedule for cleaning countertops and disinfecting toilets, sinks, and other fixtures. Also, always keep the bathroom stocked with soap, paper towels and toilet paper.
Organize the reception area.
Having an organized reception area is essential, but this doesn’t mean it has to feel sterile or cold. You can maintain cleanliness while keeping that warm, welcoming feeling patients want when visiting the doctor. The reception area is where patients get the office's first impression, so keep it free from clutter.
Remove unnecessary paperwork, pens, and clipboards from the reception desk. If any files are not in use, put them in their proper place. Most importantly, wipe down the surfaces patients use to fill out forms or other materials. Reception is also the last part of the clinic patients will remember. Maintaining a clean reception desk will leave a lasting impression on the patient’s visit.
The medical office reflects the service you are providing and shows your attention to detail. Keeping a clean medical clinic benefits the patients and shows you care about the environment you are working in. Even when working with a professional cleaning service, don’t leave these areas for them only to clean. Implement these cleaning techniques for improved patient care and keep them coming back for years to come.