Southern Tennessee Regional Health System 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. We partner with a national environmental services vendor to keep our hospital current on the most effective cleaning and disinfection protocols available in healthcare today.
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Increased Inspections and Rounding to monitor compliance of our cleaning and disinfection process.
- 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.
- Equipment & Technology: We validate cleaning and disinfection of spaces and surfaces through black light testing or ATP monitoring and testing.
- 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 encouraged to wear a mask while in our facility.
What happens after a patient is discharged?
As part of our routine cleaning protocol, our environmental services (EVS) 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.