After walking through the main concourse of our hospital, we think anyone could agree that Cincinnati Children’s is not like most medical facilities. We have vibrant colors, animalistic artwork and kid-friendly interactive decorations. There is so much creative contrast, some children even get excited to come to the hospital. This is because when many people think about hospitals, they picture sterile white walls and walkways, stainless steel equipment and the constant scent of sanitizer. Cincinnati Children’s has consciously softened our appearance and developed an environment that makes children feel like they are on an adventure rather than an appointment. This illusion does wonders for the children, but creates a more difficult situation for infection control and the prevention of spreading communal diseases. Every department has their own process for cleaning, which may vary based off specific equipment usage and types of materials within the equipment.
In the Radiology Department’s MRI Division, there are many different ways we protect our patients and keep our work environment clean. One of the most important steps we take after each patient is the disposing of dirty linens (within the soiled laundry basket) and the wiping down of all equipment previously used. This includes using a cleaning solution on all tables, coils, monitors, cushions, etc… We then must allow the newly cleaned items to dry for up to five minutes. This dry time is a very significant step in the process; it enables the cleaning chemicals to work their magic. A new bed sheet is used to protect the table for the next exam and the whole routine starts again. Depending on the infection concern, we may utilize one type of cleaning wipe over the other (i.e. bleach instead of hydrogen peroxide).
Photo: MRI Technologist Victoria Berberich cleaning and preparing the MRI suite for the next patient.
Although cleaning after each scanned patient is the most effective way to prevent the spreading of germs, we also take it a few steps further. Once a week there is a specific environmental services worker (housekeeping) who is assigned to scrub the floors, cabinets and other areas that may have been missed throughout the day. They target the items not used in direct patient care.
If that weren’t enough, we also employee a third-party company who specializes in the cleaning of MRI machines and MRI environments. Both services occur at night, preventing any schedule delays or inconveniences throughout the day. Remember, you may not notice or be hindered by our cleaning process, but it’s always happening in the background on varying levels.