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What Exactly is Terminal Cleaning in the Healthcare Industry?

Author: Darlene Bernd

Terminal cleaning is the thorough, deep-cleaning and disinfection of a patient room after use in healthcare facilities. This specialized cleaning method is used to control the spread of infectious diseases.

A thoroughly clean and disinfected medical facility is not a luxury – it’s a necessity. Medical facilities require more specialized disinfection methods than regular commercial cleaning.

It’s crucial that operating room cleanliness and disinfection are maintained in order to ensure patient and healthcare staff safety from dangerous microorganisms. Terminal cleaning is completed after an operating room has been used to treat a patient with a multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) infection.

Wearing PPE with Electrostatic Spray Disinfection for Terminal Cleaning

The first step in terminal cleaning and disinfection is for staff to suit up in barrier garments or personal protective equipment (PPE) – including face masks, gloves and booties – to prevent the spread of microorganisms outside the contaminated room.

Terminal cleaning procedures vary, but typically the process includes:

  • Removing all detachable objects and medical equipment
  • Disinfecting lighting and air duct surfaces
  • Cleaning and disinfection of everything downward to the floor
  • Items removed from the room are disinfected and returned.

Terminal Cleaning with Electrostatic Disinfection Technology

Terminal cleaning of operating rooms can include electrostatic spray disinfection. This is a hands-free way to easily cover all surfaces with an electrically charged mist. With this advanced technique, the disinfection mist easily covers all over the surfaces of machinery, fixtures, and other unusual surfaces. Combined with other terminal cleaning methods, this spray can be used to help ensure a thorough disinfection before the room is reused.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) also has recommendations to follow for terminal cleaning, including staff evaluations of the actual cleaning process.

From exam rooms to doctors’ offices to operating rooms and recovery, terminal cleaning is an absolute necessity for the health and safety of patients, staff, and visitors.

Review our Medical Facilities cleaning and disinfection options.