5 best practices for cleaning a medical office

Medical Economics Journal, Medical Economics September 2022 edition, Volume 99, Issue 9

A clean office is not only necessary for patient health, it's also good for business

One of the many duties of staff members at medical clinics is to ensure everyone is meeting the cleaning standards of the office. Even though staff and patient safety is the top priority, you also want the medical office to be clean and welcoming for patients. Having a clean, organized environment makes an immediate impression on patients letting them know you take all their health needs seriously.

Private practices are a highly competitive market, so keeping your patients happy is more important than ever. You may be doing the best you can to keep your medical office clean, but have you ever wondered if your current cleaning regimen could be more effective?

The CDC and OSHA have set industry standards for medical office cleaning. These research-based procedures ensure staff and patient safety, lower risks of health care associated infections and reduces cross-contamination. Here are the key areas for medical office staff to focus on when cleaning the clinic.

Disinfect high-traffic areas

Furniture, and other surfaces in high traffic areas, like the waiting room, are prone to collecting bacteria, dust mites, and other germs. Staff must keep up with industry standards when it comes to cleaning by wiping these areas down with EPA-registered disinfectants.

In medical offices, the most common high-traffic areas include drawer handles, faucets, cabinets, chairs, and sinks. The same goes for specialty rooms like X-ray areas or suturing rooms. In the reception area focus the cleaning on phones, computer equipment, clipboards, door handles and counters.

Dust surfaces

When dust accumulates on surfaces it makes people wonder how clean the rest of the office might be. Dust buildup in medical offices can aggravate respiratory conditions and carry germs that can spread illness. Regular dusting of surfaces throughout the clinic is an easy way to keep the space feeling clean while eliminating dust mites and bacteria from getting into the air.

Stay away from using feather dusters. All these tools do is move the dust around without properly picking it up. Instead, use a dampened cloth, small handheld vacuum, or a microfiber duster.

Never wait until dust is visible on surfaces. The longer you wait to clean, the more likely it is to build up bacteria on these surfaces. Patients with allergies are susceptible to dust aggravating them so dust at least three times a week to keep your patients safe.

Clean examining rooms

All areas of examining rooms need a thorough cleaning after each use. These areas are susceptible to cross contamination between doctors, nurses, and patients therefore it needs extra attention when cleaning. Clean the lights, countertops, and treatment chair with the proper disinfectants.

After each patient leaves, wipe down all doorknobs, cabinets, light switches, and other high-touch zones. These areas are extremely susceptible to germs as they often go unnoticed when cleaning. Keeping these areas disinfected will give patients peace of mind and allows staff to keep them safe from potential accidental infections.

Keep the bathrooms clean

It may seem like common sense to keep the bathrooms clean, but these areas often go unnoticed when the office becomes busy. The state of the bathroom reflects your clinic’s attitude towards cleanliness. Patients who use your bathroom and see that there are paper towels lying around, soap stuck to sinks and other dirty areas may not want to be treated in that office.

Restroom checks need to be done regularly at all medical clinics. Set a schedule for cleaning countertops, disinfecting toilets, sinks and other fixtures. Also always keep the bathroom stocked with soap, paper towels and toilet paper.

Organize the reception area

It’s important to have an organized reception area, but this doesn’t mean it has to feel sterile or cold. You can maintain cleanliness while keeping that warm welcoming feel patients want when visiting the doctor. The reception area is where patients get the first impression of the office, so keep it free from clutter.

Remove unnecessary paperwork, pens, and clipboards from the reception desk. If any files are not in use put them in their proper place. Most importantly wipe down the surface’s patients are using to fill out forms or other materials. Reception is also the last part of the clinic patients will remember. Maintaining a clean reception desk will leave a lasting impression on the patient’s visit.

The medical office reflects the service you are providing and shows your attention to detail. Keeping a clean medical clinic is not only beneficial for the patients but shows you care about the environment you are working in. Even when working with a professional cleaning service, don’t leave these areas for them only to clean. Implement these cleaning techniques for improved patient care and keep them coming back for years to come.

Johnny Pallares is the Owner of DLR Commercial Cleaning in Phoenix, Arizona which provides professional cleaning services to over 500 clients in the Greater Phoenix Area.