When a patient is discharged or moved from a patient room, cleaning technicians perform terminal cleaning to help prevent the spread of infection and ensure the quality of the next patient’s stay. Terminal cleaning is a meticulous procedure for removing soil loads and killing pathogens. Learn the essential techniques for terminal cleaning of patient rooms to understand best practices.
Conduct a Visual Assessment
Conduct a preliminary visual assessment to determine whether some areas of the room need special attention. For example, blood and body fluid spills require additional PPE and supplies.
Note obstacles, such as broken furniture, that may make cleaning harder. Then, remove personal care items from the area, including dishes.
Note: Refer to Your Facility’s Checklists
Terminal cleaning includes discarding disposable personal care items and reprocessing care equipment. Staff should refer to their facility’s checklists to understand who is responsible for each task.
Advance From Cleaner to Dirtier Zones
Processing dirtier areas after cleaner areas is another technique for terminal cleaning of patient rooms. Clean low-touch surfaces like vents and walls before moving to high-touch surfaces.
Clean commonly used surfaces located further from the patient’s bed before proceeding to items touched during patient care. Finally, clean surfaces touched directly by the patient.
In every zone, clean from top to bottom. Cleaning higher areas before the low areas will prevent contaminants from falling or dripping onto cleaned surfaces.
Tip: Clean Patient Beds Meticulously
Patient beds require thorough cleaning, as damaged or soiled mattresses can hold pathogens. Maintaining the cleanliness of the mattress is one of the essential tasks of hospital bed maintenance. After checking the linens for sharps, carefully strip the bed and inspect the frame and mattress. Repair the mattress to an intact condition or replace it before admitting the next patient.
Use a systematic cleaning method to ensure you do not miss an area or cross-contaminate. Soak a fresh cleaning cloth in the cleaning solution, then thoroughly wet the surfaces you’re cleaning. Once you’ve used the entire cloth or it is no longer saturated, store it properly so your facility can clean, disinfect, and sterilize it.
In higher-risk areas, change cleaning cloths between patient zones. For example, you should use a fresh cleaning rag for every patient’s bed.
Conducting a visual assessment, advancing from cleaner to dirtier areas, and cleaning each zone methodically greatly lowers the risk of spreading contagious diseases. Develop meticulous procedures and training programs to uphold the highest health standards.