Hospitals, by their very nature, need to be some of the cleanest environments on earth. Sick people spread germs, and sanitation staff have a monumental task on their hands. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these issues.
Best practices for cleaning hospitals should focus on several key areas:
- Disinfection to prevent disease transmission between patients and ensure a sterile environment
- Patient comfort, avoiding strong odors whenever possible
- Safety, avoiding slippery surfaces, corrosive chemicals, and other issues that can affect caregivers and their patients
- Quiet, to ensure the comfort of patients and visitors.
Cleaning chemicals for hospital use must disinfect first and foremost. But not all disinfecting chemicals are created equally, especially when it comes to surface compatibility. An average hospital room can contain linoleum, plastic, metal, and composite materials in the same space, and using the improper chemical for each surface can leave residue at best and permanently damage it at worst.
Patients must also be considered. Products that are overly harsh can produce unpleasant fumes, and excessive residue can cause skin irritation or reactions in some patients. You will also want to avoid
Basic guidelines on hospital disinfectants are available from the EPA.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for medical environments to protect against surface- and airborne pathogens. The most important PPE items are gloves and masks. Most healthcare regulations require the use of N95 certified masks, which filter out particles as small as .3 microns.
Face shields protect against direct spray on the face, and are essential for hospitals. Face shields are especially important when treating patients expelling fluid (such as sneezing) or for ER and operating room use.
Because of their dramatic efficiency improvements, the busy, 24/7 hospital environment benefits greatly from cleaning machines. Hallways can be rapidly cleaned with floor machines; machines with fast drying times are especially critical for safety.
Electrostatic sprayers are especially useful for hospital sayings. These machines can rapidly coat an entire room in disinfectant, ensuring that all surfaces are safe for use.