How Clean is ‘Terminal Clean’?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016Aaron Main

For those who work in healthcare facilities on a regular basis, the phrase terminal clean can mean a variety of things. Terminal cleaning can be performed after a patient has been discharged, prior to a new patient entering the space, or following any renovation, remediation or abatement work in order to recommission the room for patient occupancy. But how effective is terminal clean?

In the fight against C. diff (Clostridium Difficile Colitis), MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aurea), staph infections (Staphylococcus Infection), Norovirus, and other Hospital Acquired Illnesses (HAIs), healthcare environmental staff takes extraordinary cleaning and disinfecting measures. However, recent studies have shown that after a terminal cleaning is performed, up to 45% of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, etc.) could still present. Scary stuff! This is why having a third-party to perform terminal cleaning and testing is highly recommended.

Terminal cleaning is defined as: “a method used in healthcare environments to control the spread of infections.” Terminal cleaning methods vary, but usually include removing all detachable objects in the room, cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces, and cleaning everything downward from the ceiling to the floor, working your way out of the room. Items that are removed from the room during the terminal cleaning process are disinfected, sanitized, and/or decontaminated prior to returning to the room.

Education is the key! Knowing the proper techniques, policies, procedures, and identifying hazards are vital to any disinfection, sanitization, and decontamination process. As a healthcare partner, we educate our staff on the proper procedures and techniques for minimizing the occurrence of HAIs. We train our team how to properly use and discard of personal protective equipment and proper management of waste flow to minimize cross-contamination. We understand the potential risks involved and know the proactive measures are the best way to keep both patients and staff safe.

About the Author

Aaron Main
Healthcare Project Manager

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