Hundreds of thousands of Americans rely on dialysis to help fight renal disease. While all hospitals and healthcare facilities have risks related to contagion of infectious diseases for patients, staff and visitors, the risk in a dialysis center is increased since renal patients are likely to carry blood borne pathogens that could lead to infection in others. Renal patients also face an increased risk of infection due to a weakened immune systems, making an exceptionally clean facility a literal matter of life and death for these patients.
Microorganisms that could cause disease or infection are known to survive on touch surfaces, such as bedrails, bed trays, call buttons, doorknobs and bathroom hardware, for extended periods of time. For this reason, you want to provide a clean and safe facility for anyone walking through your doors. When choosing contract cleaners in a dialysis environment, you want to be sure that they are highly specialized in thoroughly cleaning patient rooms, chemical safety as well as medical and disinfectant techniques. Your cleaning crew should also be aware of blood-borne pathogens and biohazardous waste disposal.
Cleaning of the healthcare environment:
In a dialysis center, as with any medical facility, frequent hand washing is one of the most important steps to minimizing infection transmission. It is very important to teach your team the importance of hand washing and to implement strict rules to ensure that this step is followed through on.
While hand washing is crucial, routine cleaning of all equipment and other surfaces are just as important. The entire environment needs to be visibly clean and free from dust and soil as ninety-percent of dangerous microorganisms are present within “visible dirt”. Routine thorough cleaning of all surfaces within the environment will go a long way in stopping potentially lethal infection among immunocompromised patients.
APIC guidelines also state that cleaning the environmental surfaces must include detergent (soap), water, and friction prior to surface disinfection. This combination of cleaning and disinfection is designed to remove and kill all microorganisms on your surfaces. Disinfection alone will not be effective if dirt, blood or other body fluids are present. The goal of the cleaning step is to remove body fluids and with it, the majority of pathogens.
To ensure comprehensive removal of pathogens on surfaces, disinfection of the environmental surfaces must always follow the routine cleaning process. All surfaces (including the dialysis bed or chair, external surfaces of dialysis machines and all other exposed surfaces) should be disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant unless the item is visibly contaminated with blood.
For blood contaminated environmental surfaces, bleach should be used to kill pathogens. Make sure that your cleaning service is knowledgeable about and equipped with hospital grade disinfectant for all patient areas, with special attention paid to commonly touched items or surfaces likely to be contaminated with blood or body fluids.
Separate cleaning equipment is recommended for each patient station and a color-coded system should be used for different areas such as the kitchen, bathroom and general areas to be cleaned.
The OctoClean team has worked in dialysis centers for many years. Our specialized staff has received extensive training procedures to reduce the risk of contagion.