How to Clean a Surgery Center's OR According to AAAASF Standards

The operating room should be a key target for ambulatory surgery center infection control programs because it is the source of many infections, such as surgical site infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Reducing the risk of these infections and other harm to patients requires ASCs to adhere to specific cleaning practices.

"There is a considerable amount of policies, procedures and regulations that we have to maintain on a daily basis," says Mauro C. Romita, MD, founder and medical director of the Ajune Center for Beauty Synergy in New York City. The Ajune Center for Beauty Synergy's OR is certified by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities. Dr. Romita shares some practices his team uses to comply with AAAASF standards.

Cleaning the room

"Facility policy states that between patients, both the OR table and the recovery room stretcher be sprayed and wiped with bleach cleaner," Dr. Romita says. Cleaning the OR table should include putting a clean sheet and clean paper drape sheet on the table and spraying the head cushion with bleach. Proper cleaning of the recovery room stretchers should include putting a clean sheet and new pillowcases on each pillow. These procedures should be followed after each case, including the last case, Dr. Romita says.

Disposing of garbage

Appropriate disposal of waste is critical in meeting AAAASF standards. Dr. Romita says at the end of the day, centers should empty all garbage containers, replace the bags and take all garbage to the dumpster. Center personnel should know where to dispose of different kinds of waste. For example, boxes should be flattened, tied and taken to the recycling area near the dumpsters. "It is important that only contaminated/biohazard waste go into the red bags and all other waste goes into the black bags," Dr. Romita says. "Biohazard/contaminated waste is basically anything that has blood on it." In addition, sharps containers should be placed in the stericycle cardboard box waste containment system.

Another important process ASCs should follow at the end of the day is sending pathology specimens to the lab.

Sterilizing instruments

Instruments in the OR need to be sterilized in a certain way to fulfill AAAASF certification requirements. Centers need to soak and scrub instruments in an enzyme detergent before rinsing and autoclaving them. "We actively update the autoclave log," Dr. Romita says. "Each time there are items autoclaved, they are logged in the binder and the steam indicator is taped to the page. This is an AAAASF regulation that must be adhered to."

Related Articles on Infection Control:

Developing a Successful Flu Vaccination Program: Q&A With Drs. William Schaffner and Tom Talbot
Most Frequent Causes of Bloodborne Pathogen Violations in Surgery Centers

Case Study: Reducing C. Diff. at Alabama's Huntsville Hospital

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