Cleaning and disinfecting

A disinfecting and cleaning program for an OR or other sterile area requires close work with many parties. These policies, procedures, schedules, training, disinfecting and cleaning regimes must be developed and in place prior to the OR opening.

These policies should meet the institution’s needs, conform to CDC and AORN recommendations, and all disinfectant and cleaning chemicals need to be deemed appropriate for the surfaces (floor, wall or other surface).

A very general cleaning and disinfecting program could look like this; 
  • Cleaning the floor, wall, and other surfaces, with surface manufacturer recommended cleaning chemicals, equipment, and procedures, to remove all visible dust, dirt, debris, and soil.
  • Followed by Disinfecting using an EPA registered disinfectant appropriate for the type of, and level of, disinfection required for the surfaces, space, and disinfectant needs (follow disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions).
    • After the disinfecting process, and whenever possible, the floors and walls are to be cleaned again, or at the minimum rinsed well to remove any residues of harmful chemicals, disinfectants, or other potentially damaging residues and substances that may affect workers, patients, or other personnel, health due to hazardous chemical residues exposure and which may also damage floor, wall, and other surfaces. This may be on less than a daily schedule however it must be frequent enough to prevent health hazards to personnel, damage to the floor, wall, and other surfaces. 
  • Between case disinfecting use an EPA-registered disinfectant for patient-contact surfaces and for appropriate removal of visible potentially infectious materials (blood and body secretions and splashed irrigating solutions containing these materials), again follow disinfectant manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Terminal or end-of-day disinfecting cleaning of surfaces and equipment with a disinfectant registered with the EPA.
Make sure the floors and walls have been effectively disinfected per policy and procedures developed by infection control, housekeeping, and disinfectant manufacturer and supplier.
  • Utilize all PPE (personal protective equipment) as outlined in the facilities policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Follow regular maintenance instructions.