It’s a given that the hospital you entrust with your health and recovery should be a sterile, hygienic environment. High foot traffic, frequent turnovers and patients with a variety of infectious diseases mean that a thorough hospital cleaning plan can quite literally, be the difference between life and death. In the United States alone, hospital acquired-infections (HAIs) cause up to 99 000 deaths each year. These infections are due to contaminated surfaces and lax hygiene practices among staff. While there isn’t any data available on the fatality rate from HAIs in South Africa, the US statistic highlights just how crucial a cleaning plan is for effective infection control in hospitals.

Maintaining a clean environment that encourages health instead of illness is a process with a myriad of considerations. Not only do wards have to be cleaned, but kitchens, restaurants, waiting rooms and admission areas too. Efficient infection control in hospitals relies on an exhaustive, detailed cleaning plan that covers every single corner of the place we rely on to care for the infirm.

Effective infection control in hospital includes expert commercial kitchen cleaning measures.

A hospital’s cleaning plan should include best hygiene practices, as well as grease trap cleaning and efficient pest control measures. Without a proper kitchen cleaning plan in place, hospitals run the risk of infecting already ill patients with diseases like E.coli and salmonella. In addition, an infestation of cockroaches or rodents would have dire consequences, exposing patients and staff to the variety of diseases that these pests transmit.

Patients spend 99% of their stay in hospital in a bed, which means that mattresses and bedding need to be free from any hidden germs and pests.

Ill and infirm patients cannot be exposed to bed bugs or allergy-causing dust mites, which make their homes in mattresses, bedding and surrounds. Due to a high patient turnover, many germs enter a hospital on a daily basis. These need to be eradicated straight away, in order to maintain a sterile environment that’s conducive to recovery.

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Safeguards against cross contamination are pivotal in effective infection control in hospitals.

It’s crucial that a hospital cleaning plan incorporates the training of all staff on best hygiene practice. This includes the regular washing of hands with anti-bacterial soap, as well as the wearing of hair nets and gloves by kitchen staff. In addition, a methodical approach that’s easy for cleaning staff to follow is advised. Colour-coded cleaning equipment is suggested – this safeguards against bathroom or toilet surfaces being cleaned with materials which are then also used in patient areas (wards, ICU’s, etc).

The welfare of patients is a hospitals number one priority, which means that cleaning methods have to be as unobtrusive as possible.

It’s crucial that all cleaning measures are discreet and inconspicuous in order to avoid disturbing patients. Harmful chemicals with pungent and noxious odours are to be avoided at all costs in order to ensure that the hospital environment is one that facilitates recovery.

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