Cleaning work space is essential to reduce the spreading of germs from one person to another. Cleaning and disinfecting are especially important in healthcare facilities. While these terms might be loosely used, there is a difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. There might be certain areas in a medical facility which would just need to be cleaned while other areas would need a more thorough disinfecting.

Disinfecting is a chemical process to eliminate all pathogenic microorganisms but is not effective in removing microbial organisms such as bacterial endospores. There are three levels of disinfection low, intermediate and high.


Low-level disinfectants

This category of disinfectants is useful to disinfect non-critical surfaces. These would include shared patient care that might be used on multiple patients over the course of the day, such as bed rails or blood pressure cuffs. A common low-level disinfectant used to clean waiting rooms are quats or quaternary ammonia compounds. They are a great choice for low-level disinfectants since they are effective against fungi, amoeba, molds and most viruses.


Intermediate-level disinfectants

Intermediate-level disinfectants are used to disinfect a few critical surfaces as well as a few non-critical surfaces. In a healthcare facility, these can be used to disinfect clothing such as scrubs that may come in contact with infectious microorganisms or dangerous pathogens. Most common intermediate disinfectants include quats, bleach and bleach and hydrogen peroxide blends.

However, when using these kinds of disinfectants, necessary precautions should be taken such as the correct dilution rates and use of personal protective equipment(PPE) such as masks and gloves.


High-level disinfectants

High-level disinfectants are used on semi-critical items that come in contact with non-intact skin.  These kinds of disinfectants are used only in healthcare facilities to kill endospore-forming bacteria that can cause the spread of infection. These disinfectants are traditionally used in surgical centers or other facilities susceptible to microorganisms. The most common ingredients in high-level disinfectants are peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite, glutaraldehyde.

However, special skills and equipment are required to use these disinfectants since they contain dangerous ingredients. The people who handle these chemicals receive extensive training, protective equipment as well spill kits to handle any accidents.


For any cleaning and disinfecting needs, contact us at Service Master Elite Cleaning Services. Our professionals receive the requisite training and field experience to service your facility to achieve the highest standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction.