Maintaining a Clean & Safe Environment

September 14, 2020

St. Francis is committed to providing a clean and safe care environment, and we are taking all precautionary measures to safeguard our staff, providers and those we serve against the spread of illness. Our hospital maintains a clean and safe environment. One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility.

Here are some of the specific steps we are taking to maintain a clean and safe environment and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19:

  1. Compliance with Infection Prevention Best Practices, including:

    1. following hand hygiene protocol and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times

    2. ensuring availability and access to hand sanitizer and soap throughout the facility

    3. using proper disinfectants, cleaning agents and supplies that meet state and federal infection control standards

    4. Complies with AORN and best practice required standards.

  2. Terminal Cleaning and Disinfection of Sterile Areas: Our teams conduct terminal cleaning and disinfection of all sterile areas, including operating and procedural rooms, in accordance with AORN industry standards and best practices.

  3. Focus on High-Touch Areas: We have enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch items and surfaces in high-traffic areas of our facility, including our entrances, emergency room, lobbies, waiting areas, hallways, restrooms, elevators.

  4. We perform daily Quality Assurance Inspections of discharged COVID-19 rooms to monitor compliance of our cleaning and disinfection process.

  5. Education & Training: In addition to reinforcing our routine cleaning techniques, we are also educating and training our teams on the latest guidance and recommendations for infection prevention related to COVID-19.

  6. Equipment & Technology: Our hospital uses fogging and (QI) Quality Assurance Inspections to validate the cleaning and disinfection of spaces throughout the hospital.

  7. Visitor Restrictions, Screening & Masking: Our hospital continues to enforce a zero visitor protocol, limited access entrances to our facility and screen every individual who enters our facility including patients, staff, providers and vendors. Everyone is required to wear a mask while in our facility.

What happens after a patient is discharged?

As part of our routine cleaning protocol, our environmental services (EVS) team takes the following steps to clean and sanitize a room after a patient is discharged:

  • Restrict access to the room.

  • Use alcohol foam (sanitizer) on hands and put on gloves.

  • Soiled linen is bagged. Trash and linens are taken to proper holding areas.

  • Gloves are removed, alcohol foam reapplied; new gloves are put on.

  • Dust surfaces at shoulder height and above.

  • Disinfect bed — cleaning all patient contact surfaces from top to bottom, removing all tape, disinfect room — starting at the door, wiping high-touch surfaces and furniture, and disinfect the bathroom, cleaning, and wiping down all areas.

  • In isolation, or “high risk”, rooms: Remove gloves, then gown, then mask. Wash hands with soap and water.

  • Gather clean linens, hold away from the body.  Make the bed in accordance with hospital bed making policy.

  • Restock supplies.

  • Dry mop and wet mop, ending at the door.

  • Clean hands and put on new gloves.

  • Disinfect cleaning equipment.

  • Remove gloves, wash with soap and water.

  • In COVID rooms, HEPA air purifiers are used prior to disinfecting based on air flow requirement, then the room is terminally cleaned (Our teams conduct terminal cleaning and disinfection of all sterile areas, including operating and procedural rooms, in accordance with industry standards and best practices.)