While you’ll need to take special precautions for cleaning any health care facility, dialysis centers have especially stringent protocol due to the patients’ health conditions and the presence of biohazards during treatments. Let’s explore the most important considerations when bidding on projects in these spaces.
Bloodborne Pathogen Hazards
Knowing how to properly handle biohazardous waste is critical for any cleaning service working in a medical environment. This knowledge is essential in a dialysis center. Patients are at the center to have their blood filtered, which means the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens is much higher than in a general medical office.
It’s also important to consider cleanliness from the perspective of renal patients. These individuals already have weakened immune systems. The repeated use of needles and catheters in the dialysis process puts them at an extremely high risk of contracting a health care-acquired infection such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), hepatitis, or HIV. For the safety of the patients, staff, and visitors at a dialysis center, proper cleaning and pathogen containment is of the utmost importance.
This is where your exposure control plan (which I discussed in Part 2 of this series) comes into play. Your staff will need to follow universal precautions for any health care facility, such as having the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job. They must always wear sterile gloves and wash their hands thoroughly before and after cleaning. In operating rooms and isolation rooms, your staff may need further PPE such as a gown and an N-95 respirator to prevent the spread of airborne and contact pathogens.
Make sure you research the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for more specific requirements regarding personal protection equipment.
Special Care Areas
Dialysis centers have offices and restrooms that require the standard level of cleaning and sanitation. There are also some “special care” items to which you will need to pay specific attention.
One unique cleaning requirement for dialysis facilities is removing the white, chalky residue from bicarbonate administration during the dialysis process. This residue is often left on the floors and walls of the treatment areas, so it’s important to clean these surfaces frequently to ensure a neat appearance.
Floor care also is important for a dialysis center. These facilities often have vinyl flooring, so you’ll need to establish a consistent schedule for burnishing and scrubbing. Of course, you’ll also occasionally need to strip and refinish the floors.
Aside from the vinyl maintenance, cleaning crews will need to mop the floors daily to control the spread of viruses, germs, or bacteria that can cause infection. Your cleaning company may need to invest in special cleaning products, like hospital-grade disinfectants and germicide-neutral cleaners, to address these needs.
Although your cleaning staff will want to avoid handling expensive medical equipment, they will likely need to move dialysis machines daily to clean the area around them. Ensure all staff is rained on how to move the equipment properly.
Provide Products and Instructions
A dialysis center cleaning bid may request a rigorous cleaning schedule—these facilities require near-daily maintenance because of their unique risks. Although your cleaning company won’t be there 24/7, there are day-to-day hazards that must be addressed immediately and properly to avoid the spread of any blood-borne pathogens.
Bodily fluid spills are more likely to occur in a dialysis center than other types of medical facilities, so you’ll want to ensure the staff that your business can provide them with the appropriate cleaning products and instructions for them to take care of these issues as they occur in cases when cleaning staff is not present.
In conclusion, bidding on a dialysis center cleaning project requires in-depth knowledge of the unique risk factors present in such a facility. In your bid you’ll want to demonstrate that your crew is well-trained to handle any spills and biohazards that may occur. You should also ensure the client that you have the proper personal protection equipment and cleaning products to comply with health code regulations.
As with any cleaning project bid, you should visit the dialysis center in person so you’ll see firsthand if there are any special considerations or rooms that require extra attention and protective measures.
Whether you’re trying to land a contract with a dialysis center, a doctor’s office, or any other type of health care facility, winning the bid comes down to a customer-centric approach. Show the potential clients you have crafted a plan with their specific needs in mind. Then, back up your claim with a stellar track record of other satisfied clients in the medical industry.