5 commonly overlooked areas to clean in your operating room

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Medical and Healthcare Cleaning

Best practices to keep your operating room safe and sterile.

At any medical facility, patient safety is a top priority. So, operating rooms must be kept sterile to keep them safe throughout any procedure. While you’re undoubtedly aware of the importance of cleaning the operating room before and after every surgery, your cleaning checklist might overlook some areas that can harbour dirt, dust and pathogens.

At ServiceMaster Clean, we have over 60 years of experience as a leader in the cleaning industry, so we know the importance of proper and professional healthcare cleaning. We also know how difficult it can be to maintain this environment on top of everything else you have to do in any medical facility, especially amidst the ongoing stream of patients. That’s why we’ve put together this list of five common trouble spots that we’ve observed when cleaning operating rooms, that are important to keep in mind to help reduce the risk of infection.

  1. Behind Equipment and Furnishings

You probably wipe down used equipment and furnishings like tables, carts, and stools after surgery to rid them of germs. However, it’s also important to move these items so that you can clean underneath and behind them too. When cleaning your operating room, make sure you pull furniture and equipment away from the wall so that you can sweep and mop behind these items. Dust and debris also often collect in corners and underneath equipment, where they can harbour infectious agents. Take the time to thoroughly clean behind these items to eliminate build-up that would reduce the sterility of your operating environment.

  1. Floors

Surfaces like the operating table might seem like the most germ-prone spots in your operating room, but the floors aren’t far behind. Bodily fluids and other substances can land on the floor during surgery, requiring a prompt clean-up. There are approved methods and cleaning standards that any healthcare facility in the UK must follow, as set out by The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA). This includes cleaning bodily fluids or blood from the floor. At ServiceMaster Clean, we are constantly updating our policies, practices and standards in line with these standards. Through regular audits, we also make sure that the right channels stay open between our staff and clients so that the facilities under our care maintain the best standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

  1. Ceilings

It would be easy to assume the ceiling in your operating room is always going to stay untouched and spotless. However, ceilings can still harbour germs, dust and build-up. This accumulated debris can eventually fall, posing a serious health risk during a procedure. To mitigate this risk, you should ensure to regularly clean the ceiling (including lighting fixtures) in your operating room. The best way to do this is to use a microfibre cloth to easily wipe away any dust. You should also take the opportunity to inspect the ceiling area for any spots that require more intensive clean-up and disinfection.

  1. Cabinets

As a standard practice, you probably already wipe down the outside of the cabinets in your operating room. However, be sure not to overlook the interior, where germs can easily lurk until they are introduced into the room. (Think of how many hands reach into those cabinets during a given procedure!) Always wipe down the cabinet shelves, handles and contents to minimise the spread of harmful agents during and after an operation

  1. Biohazard Waste Bins

The biohazard waste bin in your operating room allows you to dispose of biohazard waste safely and properly. But even if your waste has been properly bagged and disposed of, the bin itself can be a hot spot for pathogens. Take the time to properly disinfect all biohazard containers and waste bins to ensure that any medical waste doesn’t spread infectious diseases around your healthcare facility.

As an industry-leading provider of patient-centred healthcare cleaning services, we know that a properly cleaned operating room is a safe operating room. By entrusting your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services business with the cleaning of your medical facility, you’re given the peace of mind that every room in your facility, operating room included, is being kept at the highest possible standard of clean. And, you get the time back to focus on what matters, your patients!

Give us a call today on 0845 201 1184 for more information on our services and book a free, no-obligation quotation.