Maintaining a Clean & Safe Environment

May 18, 2020

UP Health System – Portage is committed to providing a clean and safe care environment, and we are taking all precautionary measures to safeguard our staff, providers, and those we serve against the spread of illness. Our hospital is clean and safe – just like it always has been! One of the core elements of properly managing infectious diseases is the cleanliness of our physical facility.

Our Housekeeping team uses EPA approved disinfection products to clean and disinfect all surfaces and areas. They utilize infection prevention practices through hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, and ensuring adequate inventory levels of hand sanitizer. Housekeeping ensures all public areas and all high touch surfaces are disinfected at least daily, with high volume areas disinfected multiple times daily. They monitor all cleaning, waste management, and linen utilization. Housekeeping continuously monitors PPE usage, appropriate disinfectants, and cleaning procedures to keep the hospital safe for our patients, staff, and visitors. 

Our mechanical Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems have high levels of filtration to eliminate most airborne contaminants. The hospital also has several negative air pressure isolation rooms for any patient suspected of a contagious disease, including COVID-19. In addition, we’ve modified many other rooms which can be converted to a negative air pressure isolation room in minutes if needed. The negative pressurization draws air into the room from the corridor, preventing any contaminated air from going back to the corridor. This air is exhausted directly to the outside, where it is sufficiently diluted.

Here are some of the specific steps we are taking to maintain a clean and safe environment and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19:

  1. Compliance with Infection Prevention Best Practices, including:
    • following hand hygiene protocol and utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times
    • ensuring availability and access to hand sanitizer and soap throughout the facility
    • using proper disinfectants, cleaning agents and supplies that meet state and federal infection control standards
  2. Terminal Cleaning and Disinfection of Sterile Areas: Our teams conduct terminal cleaning and disinfection of all sterile areas, including operating and procedural rooms, in accordance with industry standards and best practices.
  3. Focus on High-Touch Areas: We have enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high-touch items and surfaces in high-traffic areas of our facility, including our emergency room, lobbies, waiting areas, hallways, restrooms, elevators.
  4. Increased Inspections and Rounding to monitor compliance of our cleaning and disinfection process.
  5. Education & Training: In addition to reinforcing our routine cleaning techniques, we are also educating and training our teams on the latest guidance and recommendations for infection prevention related to COVID-19.
  6. Visitor Restrictions, Screening & Masking: Our hospital continues to enforce limited visitor restrictions, restricted access to our facility and screen every individual who enters our facility including patients, staff, providers and vendors. Everyone is also required to wear a mask while in our facility.

What happens after a patient is discharged?

As part of our routine cleaning protocol, our Housekeeping team takes the following steps to clean and sanitize a room after a patient is discharged:

  • Restrict access to room.
  • Use alcohol foam (sanitizer) on hands and put on gloves.
  • Trash and linens are bagged.
  • Gloves are removed, alcohol foam reapplied; new gloves are put on.
  • Dust surfaces at shoulder height and above.
  • Disinfect bed — cleaning top to bottom, removing all tape.
  • Disinfect room — starting at the door, wiping high-touch surfaces and furniture.
  • Disinfect bathroom, cleaning and wiping down all areas.
  • Remove gloves and use alcohol foam. In isolation, or “high risk”, rooms: Remove gloves, then gown, then mask. Wash hands with soap and water.
  • Gather clean linens, drape over forearm, hold away from body.
  • Make bed.
  • Restock supplies.
  • Dry mop.
  • Wet mop, ending at the door.
  • Clean hands and put on new gloves.
  • Disinfect cleaning equipment.
  • Remove gloves, wash with soap and water.