3 Reasons to Keep a Clean Clinic

Superbugs like MRSA and ESBLs, as well as fungi and parasites, cross contaminating patients in health care and dental settings heralded the advent of Quality Care Commission’s (CQC) now regular inspections of such facilities.

A document produced by the NHS Wales states that high standards of cleanliness are necessary to help reduce the risk of cross-infection. However, there is more to having a clean clinic than just keeping the authorities happy.

Reason #1 – Keeping patients and staff healthy

  • Hepatitis B can stay alive on hard surfaces for 16 hours. It is easy to catch and can kill just as easily.

  • In a study carried out at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, it was found that bacteria passed from hands to surfaces is the main source of bacterial transmission in health care facilities.

  • CDC (Centers for Disease Control) tell us that all bacterial infections in the world are slowly becoming resistant to antibiotic treatments. That’s because disease-causing bacteria are living organisms that constantly evolve, enabling them to adapt to new environments.

  • One CDC report states that 2 million people per year aquire infections from antibiotic resistant bacteria.

  • CDC says,

“Inadvertent exposures to environmental pathogens …or airborne pathogens …can result in adverse patient outcomes and cause illness among health-care workers. Environmental infection-control [effective cleaning] strategies and engineering controls can effectively prevent these infections.”

Reason #2 – Promoting an environment conducive to healing and well-being

  •  A document issued by the Royal College of Nursing mentions “increasing evidence that the quality of the physical environment has an impact on clinical outcomes for patients (Lawson et al 2003, Ulrich 2001).”  Cleanliness makes a statement to patients about the attitudes of staff, the level of care and how the clinic is run.

  • If there is dust clinging to shelves in the operatory or sitting in a corner of a sterile counter, you can bet bacteria and aerosol particles are mixed with it.

  • On GP rating websites, patients comment on wait times and room ambience on physician rating websites far more frequently than they criticize doctors’ clinical skills, often foming their first impression of a medical or dental practice in the waiting room. Stained furniture, old magazines strewn about have a huge impact on how patients perceive the quality of their care.  Asking what can be done in the reception area that will improve communication at the moment of physician-patient interaction?’ says health care designer, Rosalyn Cama.

Reason #3 – Avoiding the “Hall of Shame”

An article in The Telegraph newspaper reported on a health care watchdog inspection of dental practices with shocking results:

  • One in nine dentists inspected by the health care watchdog were found to be in breach of strict guidelines on cleanliness and infection control designed to prevent the spread of conditions such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), hepatitis and vCJD (variant Creutzfieldt-Jakob disease).

  • An analysis reveals that of the 1,667 dental practices inspected by the CQC last year, 189 were found to not be following Department of Health instructions on how to clean instruments and surgeries.

  • Dr Martin Fallowfield, chair of the British Dental Association’s executive committee, which represents dentists, said earlier studies had shown around one in 17 practices were in breach of infection control rules.

The first national inspection by the CQC of more than 900 GP surgeries in England found the following:

  • One in three is failing to meet basic standards.

  • Maggots were found at two surgeries.

  • In nine cases the failings were so serious that they could “potentially affect thousands of people”, the CQC said.

  • Numerous examples of poor standards in the handling of cleanliness.

  • Concerns were expressed about a third of practices.

Hiring a professional cleaning company is essential to create and deliver a cleaning plan in line with the specifications for cleanliness as outlined by the NHS National Patient Safety Agency guidelines for Primary Care and Dental Practices.

UK Cleaning works to the latest CQC standards so we know what it takes to get and keep your surgery up to the highest quality, as set by national authorities.