Did You Forget to Clean That?

With so many surfaces to clean in a surgical facility, it's easy to miss some spots, overlook some areas and let the messes pile up. Here's a list:

Inappropriate disinfecting agents. As much as we love the smell of our favorite at-home cleaning supply, you can't use Mr. Clean Antibacterial Cleaner with Summer Citrus in your center. Check your surface-cleaning agent to ensure it's appropriate for use in a surgical facility. If it needs to be diluted, have a measuring cup available for proper dilution ratios per manufacturer's guidelines.

Anesthesia "doilies." Not trying to pick on the folks who give great anesthesia care, but you need to regularly discard OR towels and chucks that live on top of anesthesia carts. Our carts are not in Grandma's living room. Make throwing it out part of the anesthesia provider or OR staff's checkout routine.

Cleaning stools and equipment bases. Somehow, we tend to forget cleaning these things below the knee. Add the task as a specific item on the cleaning schedule.

Cleaning the nurse's station. We clean all the patient care areas like no other, but is anyone routinely cleaning the nurse's station? Make wiping down the station a once-a-week staff task. It'll help reduce the clutter, too.

Keyboards. Another overlooked area. You can buy easy-to-wipe keyboard covers at Amazon or your local office supply store.

Ortho "shrimping" boots. Give me a scrub brush and some soap. Enough said.

Wiping down positioning equipment. We take our gel pads and positioners off the bed and put them in the corner without wiping them down. Remind staff to clean them during room turnover.

Leslie Mattson, RN, BSHM 
ALM Surgical Solutions 
Atlanta, Ga.


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Hospitals use checklists to reduce errors