Commercial Cleaning Standards
Re-opening a healthcare facility in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) requires a well-thought-out plan to keep staff and patients safe and healthy. This means you will probably need to change operating procedures and policies, make physical changes to the healthcare facility, and follow commercial cleaning standards for infection control and coronavirus disinfection.
Re-Opening Guidance for Healthcare Facilities
Here are the action steps you should take to prepare for re-opening your healthcare facility.
- Create a cross-functional team
- Prepare your healthcare facility
- Prepare the staff
- Update your infectious disease plan
- Prepare your patients and visitors
Create a Cross-Functional Team
A cross-functional team should be assembled representing different functional areas of your healthcare facility. Within the team, you should identify the person who will be responsible for creating and executing the re-opening plan and make assignments.
Things can change quickly. The team must be well-versed on state and local governmental policies. They should also be in touch with state, county, and local health departments. The team should have a designated person responsible for maintaining compliance with regulations and best practices.
Prepare Your Healthcare Facility
Your team should visualize how staff and patients will interact in the facility. Create a social distancing plan for the facility to avoid close contact. This might include redesigning workspaces to maintain 6-foot separation between staff members and altering workflow. Physical barriers, such as plastic partitions or panels may need to be added where distancing is not possible.
Lobbies should be reconfigured to avoid close contact. Chairs or tables should be physically separated in public areas and other gathering places, such as staff lounges or cafeterias. Sanitation stations should be available for staff, patients, and visitors throughout the facility. Staff should be outfitted with the appropriate personal protection devices (PPEs).
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidelines for visitors to healthcare facilities. Visitors are not encouraged at this time. If you decide to allow visitors, the CDC recommends you establish policies and procedures for screening, educating, and training visitors on safety protocols in your healthcare facility.
As it pertains to the facility itself, an assessment should be undertaken to determine if these controls need to be included to provide increased infection control:
- High-efficiency air filters
- Increased ventilation rates
- Plastic screens in waiting areas
- Specialized negative pressure ventilation in some settings, such as airborne infection isolation rooms, or other places where aerosol-generating procedures are performed
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Implement commercial cleaning standards for coronavirus disinfection. All areas of your facility should be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day with particular attention to high-touch areas.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends daily cleaning and coronavirus disinfection. In a healthcare facility, disinfection should occur multiple times a day using EPA-approved disinfectants for coronavirus disinfection.
When evaluating commercial cleaning services, your provider needs to be fully trained in the use of cleaning products, PPEs, and the appropriate tools for coronavirus disinfection. They should also be required to:
- Follow OSHA, EPA, CDC, and ISSA guidelines for workplace safety and infection control.
- Use hospital-grade infection control protocols that eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on exposed surfaces.
- Be certified in Blood Borne Pathogens and Global BioRisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Disinfection procedures.
- Follow regulatory standards required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Healthcare (AAAHC).
Before re-opening, healthcare facilities should use commercial cleaning services for deep cleaning and coronavirus disinfection.
Prepare the Staff
Preparing your staff to return to work, or to adopt new procedures in your facility, will mean consistent communication and training.
- Consider a staged re-opening process, including split or staggered shifts.
- Consider work from home options if appropriate.
- Set HR policies regarding illness and support for caregivers, as detailed in the Families First Corona Virus Response Act.
- Training on policies and procedures changes, such as mask or PPE requirements.
Update Your Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan
Healthcare facilities should designate controlled environments where anyone with coronavirus symptoms can be isolated until they can be treated. If your healthcare facility is treating COVID-19 patients or high-risk patients, review your infectious disease response plan for any needed adjustments.
If someone tests positive for COVID-19, you should have a strict quarantine policy in place. This includes establishing criteria for returning to work for healthcare personnel that have been suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. You should also have commercial cleaning services on standby if needed for coronavirus disinfection.
Prepare Your Patients and Visitors
You will need to communicate any changes to regulations or policies in obvious ways, including signage letting patients and visitors know your policies and what is expected. The CDC recommends signage that displays the warning signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with instructions on who to notify if they symptoms.
You want staff, patients, and visitors to fully understand the measures you have put in place to keep everyone safe, including:
- Health screenings, monitoring, and assessments
- Social distancing for your facility
- Face mask requirements
- Visitation policies
Communicating with staff, patients, and visitors the steps you are taking for coronavirus disinfection and infection control will help relieve potential anxiety.
To Learn Even More About Re-Opening Download this Free Executive Report
We’ve put together a Workplace Readiness and Re-Opening Guide with best practices developed in alignment with recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, EPA, WHO, and ISSA.
OpenWorks helps you keep employees and patients healthier with our TotalWorksTM cleaning and disinfection services.
The TotalWorksTM complete facilities care and disinfection plan delivers dependable CDC and industry-compliant facilities service you do not have to worry. Our SaniCareTM and SaniWorksTM deep cleaning and infection control services cover high contact surfaces in surgical rooms, treatment rooms, restrooms, patient rooms, cafeterias, and common areas.
Request an estimate to discuss the commercial cleaning and coronavirus disinfection needs for your healthcare facility.