hospitals, where the health and well-being of patients is at stake. Hospital sanitization is a set of procedures, implemented by specialized personnel, which aims to guarantee the cleaning and disinfection of the rooms and tools used in a hospital, in order to prevent the spread of diseases and infections among patients, healthcare workers, and visitors.
In this article, written for all those who wish to learn more about the subject, especially hospital purchasing managers, we will take a closer look at the different methods of hospital sanitization, including the importance of their correct application, and how our company can be the winning element in the fight against hospital infections.
Hospital sanitization: disinfection, cleansing, sterilization
The Ministerial Decree 7 July 1997, no. 274 of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, reported in the COVID-19 Report n. 25/2020 and promulgated by the Higher Institute of Health, establishes that sanitization means “the complex of procedures and operations aimed at making certain environments healthy through the activity of cleaning and/or disinfection and/or disinfestation” and through the maintenance of the microclimate regarding aspects such as temperature, humidity, and air exchange.
Sanitation does not mean sanitization: the latter word indicates the set of procedures and operations aimed at reducing the microbial load of an environment, surface, tool, etc. “, which must be carried out using disinfectant products that have been authorized by the Ministry of Health.
Sterilization is a physical or chemical process that leads to the targeted destruction of any living microbial form, both in vegetative form and in the form of spores. It can be performed on objects or substances of various types.
Finally, environmental sanitation, or cleansing, consists in the removal and removal of dirt and the microorganisms present therein, with a consequent reduction in the microbial load.
What is hospital sanitization?
When it comes to disinfection, hospital facilities require special attention. The high levels of pathogenic microorganisms present in these places require more than just a thorough cleaning.
In particular, it should be emphasized that the need for regular and complete sanitization of hospital areas has always been present, but the COVID-19 pandemic has increased its importance and outlined its scope.
Before any disinfection process, it is essential to thoroughly clean the surfaces, as dirt can interfere with the effectiveness of disinfectant products: the purpose of combining cleaning and disinfection processes is to reduce the number of microorganisms present and decrease the possibility of transmission of healthcare-associated infections.
The risk of infection in a hospital environment is determined by its use. There are three main areas.
- Areas with low risk of contamination. These are commonly used areas outside the ward and ward services, such as corridors, offices, waiting and dining rooms, reception areas, etc.
- Areas with medium risk of contamination. These are the areas that include patient rooms, outpatient clinics, laboratories, internal diagnostic facilities, and more.
- Areas with a high risk of contamination. These are the areas with the greatest risk of infection and include operating rooms, sterilization centers, emergency and intensive care units, resuscitation units, operating areas for large burns, transplant operations and invasive diagnostic procedures.
The frequency and techniques of disinfection are determined by the type of environment and the number of people passing through it.
What is cleaning in a ‘hospital environment’?
Cleaning is a basic activity in hospital sanitization, as it removes visible contaminants and prevents the spread of germs and bacteria in hospitals. Hospital sanitation is based on the process of removing visible debris, dust, and dirt from all surfaces in the hospital, including floors, walls, doors, windows, and medical equipment.
Environmental cleaning and sanitization in hospitals can be carried out with specific detergents and disinfectants and must be performed regularly in all areas of the hospital, including patient rooms, operating theaters, waiting areas, bathrooms, and kitchens. Additionally, medical equipment such as heart monitors, ventilators, and infusion pumps must be spotless after each use to prevent the spread of infections among patients.
How do you sanitize OSS environments?
The sanitization of the OSS environments is also essential: the patient’s unit must be cleaned daily on a wet surface, using the appropriate products.
Cleaning must also be carried out after the patient has been discharged, both on surfaces and inside the room and bathroom.
In the case of patients with infectious diseases, it may be necessary to disinfect the patient unit after discharge or relocation.
Nevertheless, thorough cleaning and cleansing of every single element in the room is essential and must be carried out according to the specific protocols in force in the relevant operating unit.
How do you sanitize the operating room?
Sanitizing the operating room is a crucial procedure, as a sterile environment is essential to prevent the spread of infections during surgical procedures.
Surgical site infections or SSIs are infections with an incidence that varies depending on the type of operation, but also on the conditions of the patient and the hospital environment.
Most SSIs are acquired in the operating room and derive mainly from sources exogenous to the patient such as contamination of instruments, gloves, etc., but they can also be endogenous in nature when the microorganisms that cause them are present on the skin or mucous membranes of the patients themselves. About 60% of these infections occur after the patient is discharged.
What does the protocol say about sanitizing the operating room?
In accordance with the protocol for sanitizing in the operating room, which can be consulted on the website www.gomrc.it, we can briefly indicate some stages of sanitizing the operating room.
The cleaning of the operating room can be ordinary or extraordinary.
Ordinary cleaning takes place at the start of the day, between one intervention and another, and at the end of the intervention.
Start of day:
- wet dusting of furniture, floors and furnishings;
- a disposable non-woven cloth soaked in detergent/disinfectant solution.
Between one intervention and another:
- removal of special waste containers;
- washing and disinfection with disposable cloth of the operating table, the mother table, and the instrument table;
- cleaning of benches, stools, furnishings, and scialytic lamps;
- wet sweeping of the floor and subsequent wiping with a disposable non-woven cloth with detergent/disinfectant solutions, also of the walls if dirty.
At the end of the operating session:
- removal of the sheets used coverings and special waste containers;
- wet dusting and cleaning of furniture and mobile equipment, which are removed to allow subsequent sanitization.
The sanitization of the operating room also requires particular attention to cleaning and sterilization of all surfaces and tools used, air control, and the dressing of healthcare personnel. All of these steps are essential to ensure a sterile and safe environment during surgical procedures and to prevent the spread of infection.
AMIL Care in the sanitization of hospital environments
AMIL Care is fully aware of how important it is to respect recognized protocols for hospital sanitization.
Many companies deal with sanitization but AMIL Care, with its Medisystem, offers concrete help for the sanitization of hospital environments, structures, intensive care units, and operating theaters.
Medisystem uses devices and products whose effectiveness is certified: for example, the Medibios plus.hub is a latest generation patented micro-nebulizer, practical, handy, and technological, designed precisely to be used in various hospital areas, and is a CE-marked Class I Medical Device.
In combination with Medibios plus hub, Evolyse basic and Evolyse strong are the perfect disinfectants to complete the sanitization process; they are also Class IIa Medical Devices with CE marking.
For any information on our hospital sanitizing products, do not hesitate to contact the AMIL Care staff.