Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in healthcare environments is of paramount importance to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infection (HAI). The cleaning of floors is often outsourced and is not always easily managed, but Polyflor provides expert advice on the correct methodologies for effective vinyl floor cleaning and maintenance in healthcare and commercial settings.  

Healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) 

There is a direct correlation between the cleanliness of the patient environment (bioburden) and commensurate level of contamination. 

Bags placed on the floor and then on a bed, or BP cuffs or medical equipment that is dropped and retrieved, can be transferring bacteria and infections to other parts of the hospital. The presence of bacteria has even been identified on operating room floors, where sterility is extremely important. As dirt and moisture are where bacteria love to breed, it is critical that floors are cleaned regularly.  

Cleaning methodologies  

Ensure that environmental surfaces are clean and dry, and do not support microbial colonisation through an effective cleaning regime. 

  • A neutral detergent removes dirt while preventing the build-up of biofilms, which is increasing the effectiveness of chemical disinfectants.  
  • Chlorine-based products that disinfect can be used on Polyflor vinyl floor coverings, provided the area is rinsed after use and diluted as per manufacturer’s instructions. 
  • Detergents must always be rinsed off with clean water. 
  • Cleaning should always start from the least soiled areas (cleanest) to the most soiled areas (dirtiest).  
  • In critical areas, ensure that cleaning equipment is area-specific, thus reducing the risk of cross-contamination. 
  • Use enhanced hygiene tools such as microfibre mops (requiring no detergent). There are several excellent machines on the market that will ensure floors are cleaned, rinsed and vacuumed, to ensure no moisture or soap residue is left behind. 

Issue: Prevent the spread of infections and superbugs in healthcare facilities. 
Solution: Disinfecting is different to cleaning. Physical removal of soil and microorganisms is at least as important as disinfecting and less likely to damage surfaces.

Well-trained staff who fully understand the reasons behind the cleaning methodology and the risks if not done correctly, are the greatest solution to ensuring your healthcare floor remains clean and as uncontaminated as possible.  

For more information, contact Polyflor SA:
Tel: +27 11 609 3500 (speak to Blythe or Wendy)

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