Operating Room Cleaning Checklist

May 30, 2024

Operating Room Cleaning Checklist: A Comprehensive Guide

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While maintaining cleanliness and hygiene standards is a prime concern for hospitals, don’t overlook the operating rooms that require the best attention during cleaning. Keeping the environment of the operating room sterile and unsoiled is integral to the safety of patients, surgeons, and nursing staff.

Health experts particularly pointed out that maintaining operating rooms' hygiene prevents risks of adverse infections or accidental wounds from discarded surgical items to hospital staff, which directly helps elevate the overall quality of their healthcare services.

Given all that, it’s a foremost necessity for every hospital to curate a detailed operating room cleaning checklist that will extensively guide the cleaning staff in delivering their duties.

Wondering how to make a cleaning checklist that works perfectly for your operating rooms? Read this blog thoroughly to learn about the essentials of operating room cleaning, procedures to follow, and what steps must be included in the checklist.

What Does Operating Room Cleaning Entail?

Operating rooms where multiple surgeries take place every day need frequent in-depth cleaning to ensure the floors, surfaces, surgical equipment, and everything else stays clean and infection-free.

Clean and sanitary operating rooms are a prerequisite for delivering safe and quality healthcare services. However, not all hospital authorities are aware of the exact steps and areas that an operating room cleaning checklist encompasses.

So, before we outline the checklist, you must know when or how often the surgery rooms need cleaning.

Operating room cleaning must take place during the following cases:

  • Making the operation room ready for the day
  • Before every operation or surgery case
  • After the last operation case of the day (often referred to as terminal cleaning)
  • Deep cleaning between a week and 1-2 times a month.

While creating your cleaning checklist for operating rooms, including all the open, restricted, and semi-restricted areas. While the cleaning procedure commences with the main operating area, it must move to the anesthesia room, scrub areas, surgical equipment, operating table, and recovery rooms.   

To put it briefly, operating room cleaning entails diverse surfaces, areas, and equipment that must be cleaned methodically and intensively to minimize the exposure of hospital staff to potential infections and harmful microorganisms. Just like a hospital or medical office cleaning checklist, operating room cleaning needs a checklist that will guide the cleaning staff in delivering the elementary duties!

Operating Room Cleaning Procedures

To ensure effective operating room cleaning and compliance with industry hygiene standards, you must follow certain procedures. Hospital administration should either underline the necessary cleaning protocols for the staff or hire a commercial company in NYC.

We always suggest going with the latter option! As specialists in the cleaning industry, they are well aware of the strict procedures for cleaning and sterilizing hospitals, including operating rooms. Thus, they will conduct cleaning methods adhering to the established protocols and ensure your surgical rooms remain safe and sterile for staff and patients.

The vital operating cleaning procedures to follow are given below.

  • Establishing a suitable cleaning checklist

Before the cleaning staffs starts sorting the mess of the operating room and tidying it, you must ensure that they are aware of the specific methods and protocols of cleaning. Therefore, the first step is to develop a meticulous operating room cleaning checklist underscoring all steps and areas to clean, protocols and methods to follow, and cleaning agents to use. 

  • Examining the equipment before starting cleaning

It is an inevitable step for the cleaning staff to follow because operating rooms have different high-grade equipment and sensitive surgical tools. These need extra care and handling, and that’s why cleaning them involves special techniques and solutions. Your cleaning staff must examine them and ensure they are safe to be handled or moved for cleaning.

  • Gathering the right cleaning solutions and tools

Not every cleaning solution is suitable or safe for the operating room equipment or surfaces of essential medical devices. Specific EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved cleaning agents and solutions must be used for these.

Moreover, the agency emphasizes the guidance for cleaning them, which your cleaning staff must be aware of! Using approved agents and underscored cleaning methods are crucial for meticulously cleaning the equipment and ensuring it is transmission-free.

  • Eliminating any traffic or unnecessary items from the areas

Since there are high chances of spreading infections from the terminal or other forms of cleaning of operating rooms, the cleaning professionals need to minimize their movements in and out of the room. It’s a prerequisite step for them to collect all the agents and tools needed for cleaning beforehand and keep the doors closed during the cleaning process.

  • Minimizing risks of cross-contamination

Every step counted in the checklist for cleaning operating rooms emphasizes minimizing the risks of cross-infections and ensuring the health and safety of the hospital staff. It’s a no-brainer that cleaning various areas, equipment, and surfaces directly exposes the staff to various biomedical wastes.

Thus, they should use cleaning methods by equipping themselves with protective equipment such as masks, gloves, or PPEs.

Given this, it is also crucial to clean and sterilize any equipment or tool that is removed from the operating room and used for other medical purposes.

  • Undergoing quality-control checks

Thorough cleaning and disinfecting of operating rooms is a supreme task for hospital administrators to mitigate cross-contamination risks and ascertain specific safety. They must oversee and check the processes of cleaning and sterilizing for quality control checks!

On this account, quality control must be part of every step of the checklist as it will help the hospital administrators identify any faults in cleaning procedures, unsterilized areas, or perilous equipment and inform the cleaners.

Checklists of Operating Room – Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Checklist    

With uncountable aspects encompassing the operating room cleaning checklist, the hospital cleaning staff can't address every element daily! Also, some cleaning tasks are tedious and time-consuming and should be executed weekly or 1-2 times a month.

Nevertheless, it’s always better to segregate the cleaning tasks in the operating room into daily, weekly, and monthly checklists for the convenience of the cleaning staff.

Having dedicated checklists for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks also particularly defines the staff's roles and responsibilities. It ensures they spend no time doing pointless cleaning duties and save their time!  

Daily Cleaning Checklist of Operating Room

Since operating rooms undergo numerous surgeries daily, they require daily cleaning at the start of the day, between every surgery case, and after all operations.

For meticulous cleaning and disinfecting, your hospital must have a responsible team of cleaning workers with explicit knowledge of protocols and expertise in handling effective disinfectants. They must have practical experience and apply intrinsic cleaning techniques to minimize the spread of pathogens from the operating rooms.

Here, we examine the crucial tasks necessary to incorporate into the daily cleaning checklist of operating rooms.

  1. Anesthesia room: Start by cleaning the room and equipment where the patient is kept for sedation. The room comprises an anesthesia machine, tables, IV pumps, poles or stands for IV, and a cart.

Clean the room's floor and wipe and disinfect these items to ensure the room is safe for the subsequent surgery patient.

  1. Equipment and devices: Operating rooms are full of essential machines and equipment, including electronic devices that need cleaning as part of the daily tasks. Nurses handle computers, telephones, and communication devices in the waiting or recovery areas.
    The OT room comprises large medical devices and equipment, including patient monitors, radiology machines, regulators, oxygen support, and other vital devices. Cleaning staff must pay attention to wiping these with an industry-approved disinfectant since surgeons and nurses touch and use them.
  1. Floors: Wiping the floors and every corner of the operating room and its adjacent rooms (anesthesia room, scrub rooms, and recovery rooms) is an indispensable daily cleaning duty.

Cleaning floors entails three vital steps: sweeping to get rid of dirt and litter, mopping the floors with a strong cleaning solution, and decontaminating the floors to inhibit the spread of germs and pathogens.

  1. High-touch surfaces: You must not forget to include sterilizing the high-touch surfaces in the daily checklist to clean an operating room. These include door handles, push plates, table surfaces, light switches, side rails of beds, IV poles, medicine carts, communication devices, and medical equipment that are necessarily touched during surgeries.

Sterilizing every commonly touched surface is paramount for maintaining a hygienic and pathogen-free working environment for the nursing staff and doctors.

  1. Lights and display screens: Vast and small surgical lights are pivotal parts of the operating room, meant to illuminate the patients’ surgical area while eliminating any obstructing shadows. Thus, it is crucial to keep the lights sterling clean by wiping them once every day to ensure their functionality and help the surgeons work with precision.

Also, don’t forget to rigorously clean and disinfect the handles of the lights as the surgeons or nurses hold them to adjust over the surgery areas every time. Similarly, monitoring machines or devices display screens showing patients' vital stats during surgeries. The cleaning staff must carefully wipe off the screens to ensure a high-quality and clear display.

  1. Scrub sinks: Scrub sinks, or surgical sinks, are critical functional areas in an operating room where doctors and nursing staff clean their hands before a surgery or invasive procedure. Since sterile hands are imperative for the safety of the patients, your cleaning staff must carefully tidy up and disinfect the scrub sinks every day before the start of the first surgery.
  1. Biomedical waste bins and litter cans: The last step of the daily operating room cleaning checklist comprises emptying the general trash cans and separate bins that collect biomedical wastes.
    Bins are designated with definite codes for segregating the diverse types of hospital waste, which include biohazardous substances, sharp objects, infectious substances like cotton swabs, chemicals used in surgeries, used bandages and dressings, test samples, and disposable surgical items.

The cleaning staff should have perfect knowledge of disposing of all types of waste in the coded bins after accumulating all the trash from the bins of the operating rooms.

Weekly Cleaning Checklist of Operating Room

Operating room cleaning is a daily task for your dedicated cleaning staff, as it is a high-traffic and highly aseptic area of treatment in every hospital. While most sections, rooms, surfaces, and equipment need to be wiped and sterilized regularly after all the surgeries, certain tasks must be performed once a week to maintain optimal cleanliness of the operating rooms.

  1. Cleaning walls: Once a week, it’s incumbent for your professional cleaning staff to meticulously wipe down the walls and disinfect them before cleaning the floors. It’s inevitable to ensure a pathogen-free environment within the operating rooms and fully safeguard the health of nurses, surgeons, and patients. If removing furniture is necessary, do that to dust and wipe the walls along with the corners properly.
  1. Tidying the sterile process areas: There are dedicated areas for sterilizing the surgical units, tools, and equipment.  Your cleaning personnel must pay attention to the overall cleaning of these areas, which is imperative to maintaining the hygiene standards of the operating rooms.
  1. Cleaning supply carts: The nursing staff collects the essentials needed for surgeries and patients, including medicines, surgical items, costumes, sterilization substances, gloves, masks, and everything else from the hospital’s inventory, through supply carts. Once a week, the cleaning workers must unload the carts and wipe them intensively to ensure the items carried remain in top-notch hygiene conditions.
  1. Windows and doors: There are multiple windows and a few large doors for entry/exits in an operation theatre and connecting areas. The weekly operating room cleaning checklist must entail deep cleaning of the doors and windows. Use a specific commercial-grade glass cleaner to wipe their surfaces and make them stain-free. Inspect the windowsills to identify whether there is dirt or debris anywhere, and subsequently, use a vacuum to clean them.
  1. Wheels and casters: From operating tables to patients’ recovery beds, supply carts to vital monitoring equipment, many items in the operating rooms have wheels and casters. Because they move frequently, they gather dirt and grime, which your cleaning professionals must remove for absolute cleanliness.
  1. Beds, chairs, stools, and other furniture: The operating room comprises several pieces of furniture, including recovery beds, chairs, stools, a patient record administration table, lockers for nurses and surgeons, and many more. Your cleaning workers must dust all the furniture once a week to keep it neat and hygienic.

Monthly Cleaning Checklist of the Operating Room

Clearly, a vast number of essential operating room cleaning duties must be done daily or weekly. There are a few meticulous and arduous tasks to do once a month. Here’s a list of cleaning tasks to include and tick off in your monthly operating room cleaning checklist.

  1. Cleaning air vents and ducts: Maintaining a sanitary and healthy environment within the operating room is fundamental for the safety of the patients and hospital staff. This means the air they breathe should also be clean and free of air-borne germs. To ensure that cleaning air vents and ducts in the operating rooms is a prerequisite, you should hire a professional cleaning agency.
  1. Ceilings, lights, and other fixtures on the walls: Among your monthly cleaning tasks, consider dusting and wiping the ceilings, information boards, signage, light fixtures, etc., on the walls to keep up the overall hygiene of the operating rooms.
  1. Waste receptacles and buckets: These collect day-to-day waste from the operating rooms and contain the trash liners, which are replaced every time the waste is empty. However, once a month, ask your cleaning staff to deep clean the walls of the containers, remove stains or sticky grime, and make the posh clean to maintain safety while transporting the bins for disposal.
  1. Curtains: Once a month, take down the curtains of windows and partition curtains used in various sections of the OT and recovery room. Wash them using a strong antiseptic cleaning solution and let them dry before reuse.
  1. Deep cleaning of furniture: You must have instructed your cleaning staff to dust and wipe the furniture surfaces in the operating room. However, ask them to take time once a month to deep clean the furniture using a vacuum. Move or empty the furniture and vacuum its insides, hard-to-reach corners, and underneath to make it appear as pristine and sanitized accompaniments to your operating rooms.

Why Do You Need a Commercial Cleaner to Clean Operating Rooms?

Maintaining a posh, clean, and aseptic environment in the operating room is a non-negotiable aspect if you administer a hospital or nursing home. While we underline all the vital duties and aspects to include in your operating room cleaning checklist, let’s unveil why hiring a proficient commercial cleaning agency in NYC is necessary.

  • Industry-wise experience

A team of commercial cleaners has years of experience cleaning hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and medical centers. Thus, they have extensive knowledge and first-hand involvement in clearing every kind of mess and tidying the operating room.

Professional cleaning staff understands the checklist for cleaning operating rooms and strives to follow every step to keep your operating room hygienic and top-notch clean.

  • Strives to improve hospital image

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment in your operating room is critical to elevating the quality of services and your hospital's image.

Everything must be spotless and well disinfected, from outpatient areas to wards, labs to operating rooms, to safeguard the health of patients and staff and demonstrate the professionalism of your hospital.

  • Have quintessential cleaning agents

Sanitizing the surfaces and high-touch areas of the operating rooms to make them germ-free is integral to keeping the surgical rooms up and running. Commercial-grade cleaning and disinfectants with EPA approval are prerequisites for keeping every area, surface, and equipment aseptic and safe.

A team of professional cleaners ensures that the right industry-approved cleaning products are used to completely eradicate pathogens for infection control.

  • Understand regulations and rules for safe waste disposal

Practiced commercial cleaners know the fundamental cleanliness standards and regulations for hospital cleaning, including operating rooms. They deploy all their cleaning methods and execute the operating room cleaning checklist steps while strictly adhering to the rules and guidelines.

This again ensures that your hospital meets industry standards for cleanliness and hygiene and upholds its professional image.

  • Trustworthy and customized services

Every hospital has specific operating cleaning needs. Some may have only one operating room, and some multispecialty hospitals may have multiple rooms. Everything varies with the hospital, from the size and structuring of the surgery rooms to devices and furniture.

By hiring a specialized commercial cleaning company, you can get customized cleaning services according to the specific needs of your operating rooms.

Discuss the room sizes, equipment, and medical instruments you have, how often you want to clean, what high-traffic or maximum-exposure areas you want to concentrate on, and so on. The professionals will curate a comprehensive checklist per your requirements and follow it thoroughly to make your operating rooms clean and sterile.

Hire Sterling Cleaning Services To Intensively Clean Operating Rooms!

Operating rooms are a focal point of every hospital and are integral to patient care and treatment. Keeping all areas, surfaces, surgery instruments, devices, and furniture pathogen-free is foremost essential to prevent cross-infections, slippery or stained surfaces, and adverse risks of accidents from discarded sharp surgical items.

Given that, it’s necessary to have a dedicated cleaning company to address the intensive and systematic cleaning aspects of the operating room.  

Hire Sterling Cleaning Services to ensure all the operating room cleaning checklist aspects are well met! As a long-established professional cleaning company in NYC, we have a team of proficient cleaners with experience in various commercial facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, and medical centers.

Get our services for regular cleaning and deep cleaning of your operating rooms at affordable cleaning packages and maintain a spotless, sanitary, and safe environment for your valuable staff and patients.

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