The goal of environmental control in the operating room setting is to keep microorganisms to an irreducible minimum in order to provide the safest environment for both patient and healthcare practitioners. The Joint Commission, accrediting body, implements an ever evolving set of standards to test for and limit harmful microbials in hospitals, operating rooms, and many other healthcare settings where people can be affected. The following are a few control methods that should be implemented within the facility and are the responsibility of both the healthcare cleaning service as well as those that manage healthcare facilities. You will see from the list below that their roles overlap.
- Air handling or ventilation system of surgical suites are designed to minimize contamination from external air vents should be wiped clean frequently, as well as maintained with appropriate preventative maintenance to insure potential microbials are filtered out.
- Perioperative cleaning and maintenance of operating room equipment to include operating tools as well as fixture such as tables, monitors, lights, poles etc. should be addressed nightly with absolute accuracy and can be tested for with various monitoring technology
- Contamination within the operating room is introduced from a variety of sources. The patient, staff and inanimate objects are all capable of introducing potentially infectious material into the surgical field.
To ensure patient and personal safety, healthcare cleaning service professionals and healthcare practitioners must work hand in hand to create an environment where microbials cannot thrive thus resulting in limited exposure to potential infections.