Your Guide to Medical Office Cleaning Standards

By: Hayden Bodiford
September 16, 2022

Every medical office needs to be cleaned and sanitized daily to ensure a healthy environment for both patients and employees. However, in addition to the routine and deep cleaning that all offices require, OSHA sets special cleaning requirements for medical offices. These special requirements ensure the facility is not only disinfected and clear of clutter but also sterile. And offices that are home to operating rooms have codes that are even more strict. To help you make an informed decision when it comes to hiring a commercial cleaning service, read on for an overview of medical office cleaning standards. Afterward, remember to get your free quote from our team at 360clean!

Standards for Bloodborne Pathogens

All medical offices are required to comply with certain standards that are set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These standards are especially important when it comes to any item that is used in the handling of blood. This list of items includes but is not limited to needles, vials, and even the gloves that workers use.

The first step in meeting these OSHA requirements is setting up a system for the disposal of items involving blood. The system that you set up for waste disposal must be color-coded so that workers can easily identify which waste goes in which container. Your medical office must display a clear description or sign of the color-coding system near the waste containers so employees can refer back to it if they have any questions. Additionally, you must choose a designated area where these materials are disposed of.

Beyond these standards, OSHA also has requirements for how to handle and contain any spills. These requirements and instructions involve not only how to handle blood spills, but also what products must be used during cleaning, and how those products and supplies need to be disposed of afterward.

Lastly, every medical office must have a plan for exposure control in case anyone in your office is exposed to a potential bloodborne pathogen. Your plan should include details on who might be at risk of exposure, specific procedures that cover details on how employees can avoid coming into contact with any bloodborne pathogens, procedures for how those who are exposed will be examined medically, how reports are to be created and sent to OSHA, and how detailed these incident reports must be in case of exposure.

Notification of Radiation

Certain medical equipment can expose workers and patients to ionizing radiation. This includes X-rays which are used in everything from urgent care facilities to dental offices and medical testing facilities.

OSHA requires that any room that contains equipment for X-rays is properly labeled with a sign that reads “Caution X-Ray Radiation.” The signs must be properly displayed in every room that has this equipment and also on the doors that lead to the room where the equipment is kept. Additionally, rooms that contain X-ray equipment must be labeled as restricted areas that only medical personnel can enter. This must be properly labeled so that patients don’t enter any of these rooms.

Additionally, any employee who is allowed to enter the rooms where the equipment is stored must wear a monitor on them at all times which ensures they aren’t exposed to excess levels of radiation.

Beyond just the labeling and notification of potential radiation, though, the equipment that is used to take X-rays–including patient gowns and exam beds, for instance–needs to be properly disinfected after each use. This is extremely important to stop the spread of any harmful viruses and bacteria that could spread in medical offices.

Electrical Warnings

Medical offices have many different areas that could be defined as hazardous. OSHA defines these areas as any place where there is a potential to have a sufficient amount of combustible dust, vapor, gas, or flammable liquid that could cause a fire or explosion.

While medical office facilities have a strict need for in-depth cleaning and disinfecting, it’s also important your commercial cleaning company is aware. The cleaning service you hire must be meticulous when cleaning a medical office, as there is a much higher potential to cause electrical damage that can be catastrophic to both the building and the people in it.

Communication Surround Hazards

Many different hazardous materials can exist in a medical office setting. The key to keeping all patients and employees safe in this type of environment is clearly and effectively communicating regarding these materials.

Any place where hazardous materials are present in the facility should be clearly marked as such. You should display signs in a prominent place so that everyone walking in or around the area knows that there are dangerous materials inside. Materials that are considered hazardous are radiological, pharmaceuticals, sterilants, mercury, anesthetics, disinfectants, and hazardous waste–though there are many others, too.

Beyond simply notifying people of hazardous materials, it is essential to have proper procedures in place for cleanup and the disposal of these materials. Employees who handle these materials must receive proper training on how to handle them. OSHA also requires all businesses to provide their employees with written notification about what their training includes.

Lastly, OSHA also sets standards for how all hazardous materials are managed and stored. This means that medical offices and the commercial cleaning companies who clean them must follow certain procedures regarding how they use, manage, and store products labeled as hazardous materials.

Clear Routes for Exits

All businesses are required to provide and label safe and efficient exit routes in case of an emergency. This is especially important in a business setting such as a medical office that deals with hazardous materials. As mentioned above, hazardous materials present the possibility of a fire or explosion, making it even more important that all exit routes are clearly marked.

First, exit routes must be posted on the walls outside of doors and in hallways. Doors can’t be blocked ever, and all hallways have to be completely free of any obstacles, including debris. The waiting room must be kept very clean, with everything in order, since that is one of the main exit points if there were to be an emergency.

Special Considerations for Operating Rooms

If there is any one place where mistakes must be avoided at all costs, it is the operating room. If your office is also home to an operating room, there are additional steps that you and your staff must take to keep microorganisms to an absolute minimum. There are so many things to consider here that you may not think of in the other rooms in your medical office. You must think carefully about everything that moves inside and outside of the operating room, including the clothes that your staff wears, the clothing that your patient is wearing, the quality of air in the room, and those who may and may not enter the room.

Everything that lives within this room must be handled with an extra level of care that many people wouldn’t consider. Linens, for example, must be handled in such a way as to avoid sending off airborne dust particles. In regards to special equipment that is used, always review the manufacturer’s manual on how to clean and disinfect the equipment. This information should be readily available to anyone who handles the cleaning and disinfecting of your operating room.

Additionally, extra steps must be taken when it comes to the disinfectants that you use within the room. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered tuberculocidal disinfectants are essential. While lower-level disinfectants may work fine for floors and other items located outside of the operating room, this is not the place to use anything other than EPA-registered tuberculocidal disinfectants. These cleaning agents must be used before and after every case that enters your operating room. To make sure that no surface goes untouched, your team should also have a written set of guidelines to be followed.

Hire an Experienced Commercial Cleaning Company for Your Medical Office

We hope you found this guide to medical office cleaning standards helpful. If you run a medical office, our team at 360clean knows that safety is essential for all of your employees, patients, and visitors. While this should be important to anyone who runs a business, it’s especially important for a medical office setting where the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses is much greater than in other office environments.

With the added risk when it comes to bloodborne pathogens, radiation, and hazardous materials, we make it a priority that our team is well-versed in the special requirements set by OSHA. With years of experience in cleaning medical offices, we are confident that our team has the knowledge and skill to keep your office up to code. To learn more about our cleaning services and how we can help ensure your medical office facility is safe for everyone, contact us today for a free quote! We can’t wait to help you create a cleaner and safer workplace.

Hayden Bodiford

Social Media and PR Manager for 360clean. Based in Charleston, SC

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