Speed up your sanitization routine to allow for more patient visits

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Controlling the spread of pathogens has always been important for hospitals, clinics, private doctors’ offices and other clinical services. The COVID-19 pandemic has only put more focus on this reality. Having an effective sanitization solution is not only important for keeping patients and staff healthy, but also for an organization’s financial health. Effective sanitization is essential to allowing more patient visits.

Any time spent cleaning exam rooms means fewer patient visits, and that means less revenue for doctors and hospitals. So, it’s critical that healthcare providers and their organizations find a fast, effective way to clean and disinfect clinical settings. Here are some tips on how you can safely sanitize medical environments to increase your volume of patient visits.

Create a healthcare sanitization strategy

If your organization doesn’t yet have a fully developed sanitization plan, now is the time to enact one. According to the CDC, every healthcare facility should have a sanitization plan that includes:

  • Identifying the person responsible
  • The frequency
  • The method (product, process)
  • Detailed SOPs for environmental cleaning of surfaces and noncritical equipment in every type of patient care area

Larger organizations should already have a dedicated point person to lead cleaning and sanitization efforts. Smaller private practices should consider appointing an office manager or some other non-provider staff member to lead these efforts and ensure compliance with the sanitization plan.

Your plan should extend beyond exam rooms to waiting rooms, restrooms, front desk areas and any other spaces where patients or staff are regularly present. As you clean, be sure to move from “cleaner” surfaces to “dirtier” ones to help prevent the spread of harmful pathogens.

For example, sanitize exam tables before patient toilets. You should also concentrate first on high-touch surfaces and areas with high patient activity (e.g., exam rooms). Then move on to areas with low patient activity (e.g., supply closets).

In general, your cleaning staff should also work from top to bottom. Proceed around each room in a systematic way to prevent missing any one area. All staff members responsible for cleaning and sanitizing activities should be properly trained in your organization’s policies and procedures. Create a record to document each time an area has been sanitized.

Leverage better cleaning technology

To execute your healthcare sanitization plan correctly, you need to consider the equipment you’ll use to keep spaces safe. Aim to optimize air-handling systems to ensure they flow in the correct direction and filters are regularly replaced. The CDC recommends healthcare organizations “Consider the addition of portable solutions (e.g., portable HEPA filtration units) to augment air quality in areas when permanent air-handling systems are not a feasible option.”

You will also need to consider how you are physically disinfecting your clinical spaces. Wiping things down by hand isn’t ideal because it increases contact, leaves more opportunity to miss areas, and most importantly, takes a lot of time, hindering your ability to see patients.

Instead, consider a sprayer system that uses chemical disinfectant to quickly sanitize surfaces. Sprayers that use electrostatic technology actually bond chemical disinfectants to surfaces, so you can be confident they have been sanitized properly.

When it comes to getting patients in and out, choose chemical solutions that feature a short “dwell time” or “contact time,” also known as the time it takes for the chemicals to effectively sanitize a surface. That way, you can spend less time sanitizing and more time treating patients.

Implementing new cleaning procedures to slow the spread of COVID-19 may have also slowed down staff and made it difficult to see as many patients as you did pre-pandemic. But by following the proper protocols and using the right technology, your medical practice can decrease sanitization time and increase patient volumes. Your staff, patients and bottom line will thank you.

Looking for a fast, effective way to sanitize your hospital or clinic? Shop our industry-leading sprayers and sanitizing chemicals to mitigate risk and keep your patients and staff safe.