Procedure carts are versatile pieces of equipment that can be adapted to suit an array of different types of medical and caregiving environments. This versatility means that a procedure cart is often one of the most-used items within medical environments, and as such, it has the potential to spread bacteria, viruses and infections unless there is a comprehensive infection control and sanitization procedure in place.
Cleaning vs. Sanitization
When it comes to maintaining a medical procedure cart, it is not enough to simply clean the surfaces. Yes, ensuring that visible dirt is removed from the surface is important, however, it should not be the only step that is completed before procedure carts are used again.
Although medical carts aren’t officially considered as a piece of critical equipment, they can contribute significantly to the spread of pathogenic bacteria, which is why they must be subjected to thorough disinfection processes on a regular basis.
The disinfection and sanitization process must utilize EPA and FDA-approved disinfectant products which contain antimicrobial chemicals. Additionally, it is vital to ensure that this disinfectant product is permitted to sit on the surface of the cart for at least 30 seconds before it is wiped away.
How to Maintain a Medical Procedure Cart?
Maintaining medical carts can be complex, but it doesn’t need to feel like an impossible task.
- Selecting the Right Equipment
The first step to maintaining procedure carts in busy medical settings is choosing the right product for the job. It is important to select models that have been designed and manufactured without any superfluous holes or indents that could collect bacteria. Additionally, carts should be constructed from antimicrobial materials and contain easily removable inserts.
- Organization is Essential to Cleanliness
It can be easy for inefficient carts to quickly become cluttered. Keeping clutter to an absolute minimum will help to minimize the spread of infection because pathogens and bacteria will have fewer surfaces to latch onto. Your medical cart should be equipped with enough storage and organizational options to ensure that every piece of equipment required to complete each medical task is present, within easy reach, and sterile.
These organizational storage solutions should be easily removable to ensure that its complete surface area can be cleaned, disinfected and properly sanitzed. Tray inserts should slide out of drawers with ease and every organizational solution, including bins, utensil cups and hooks should be easy to remove from an integrated rail management system.
- Consistency is Key
In addition to keeping up with routine cleaning schedules, which should include all shift changeovers and frequent intervals throughout the day, it is also important to conduct sanitization processes when carts are visibly dirty, exit an isolation room, have experienced a spillage, or come into contact with other potential contaminants.
Sanitization processes play a central role in the proper maintenance of procedure carts in medical and caregiving environments because they allow everyone to protect both patients and colleagues throughout each work day.