Hospital floors are covered by dirt tracks brought in by visitors, dust, non-hazardous waste as well as by blood, urine, intravenous injections, etc. Prompt and regular floor cleaning is essential to prevent the spread of infections from room to room. Indu Vijaykumar, Director, i-team India explains how cleaning machines have an edge over tools in healthcare facilities.
What are the challenges of floor cleaning in a healthcare facility?
Safety is challenged by extreme traffic as well as by slips and falls, putting healthcare literally under the microscope. Heavy footfall in OPD areas/waiting rooms and infection control are a major challenge; this cannot be solved by continuous manual mopping as it would involve wet board signage which would constrict free movement of patients and bystanders.
Automation of cleaning is a solution that ticks all the boxes and provides a sustainable and permanent solution, like our automated walk-behind scrubber dryers. This also eliminates the challenge of wet slippery floors. SOPs can be maintained with higher frequencies of cleaning cycles, be it washrooms or public areas, as the automated cordless scrubber-dryer can easily be employed for cleaning, even when the areas are in use by patients.
As the scrubber dryers have powerful vacuums that suck everything off the floor, including harmful microbes, this is the most obvious choice for maintaining perfect cleaning while maintaining disinfection protocols.
Why should one choose cleaning machines over tools in this setting?
Mopping may be the traditional method of cleaning and sanitisation, suitable for all kinds of floors, be it the ICU, OT or wards. But we have revolutionised it with mechanisation and liberation from the cord and electrical sources. This is a permanent solution and highly recommended for all kinds of floors, with cleanliness that can be proved and visually tested with an ATP meter for presence of microbes.
Categorisation of patients and their conditions is also paramount as every cleaning needs to be specific to the patient’s condition (if the disease is airborne etc), to contain the disease and not allow the infection to spread.
Noise is not permitted inside a healthcare facility. What features should a cleaning machine have to be used in this setting?
Cleaning is a highly skilled job if done responsibly. Automation of equipment is the way forward to create safe spaces. Machines have minimum noise while providing the most effective cleaning, which can be repeated multiple times.