Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


One of our offices ran into a medical building that was requiring a terminal cleaning certificate? Is there such a thing, and if so, how would I get certified?


Terminal cleaning of operating rooms differs from turnover cleaning in time and intensity. It is done, as the name indicates, at day’s end when no more procedures are scheduled.
An article in the September 2000 issue of "Infection Control Today" offered these observations.
“At the completion of the day's schedule, each OR, whether or not it was used that day, should be terminally cleaned. The AORN "Recommended Practices for Environmental Cleaning in the Surgical Practice Setting" states, "surgical procedure rooms and scrub/utility areas should be terminally cleaned daily." This is done to reduce the number of microorganisms, dust, and organic debris present in the environment. The following routine should be used at the end of the day's schedule.
Furniture is scrubbed thoroughly, using mechanical friction. Casters and wheels are cleared of suture ends and debris and washed with a disinfectant solution. Equipment such as electrosurgical units or lasers need special care and attention when cleaning to avoid saturation of the internal machine. Ceiling and wall-mounted fixtures and tracks are cleaned on all surfaces. Kick buckets, laundry hamper frames, and trash receptacles are cleaned and disinfected. Floors are wet vacuumed thoroughly. Walls and ceilings should be checked for soil spots and cleaned as needed. Cabinets and doors should be cleaned, especially at the contact points. Air intake grills, ducts, and filter covers should be cleaned.”
Terminal cleaning is obviously demanding and extensive, and possibly the medical building management was inquiring about your training of your employees in the complexities of the operation, acknowledging that it goes well beyond the normal damp wipe and floor mopping needed in other areas.
Here is one source of information you may wish to pursue.
However, my research turned up no certification agency for terminal cleaning. You may wish to set up your own training in harmony with best practices in this field.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor