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How to buy disinfectants that keep your facility clean

By: Tips written by: Yolanda Smith, MedicalSearch
03 August, 2015

Maintaining adequate hygiene standards in your medical facility is essential to provide optimal healthcare services to your patients. A large component of the cleaning process lies in disinfecting the equipment and surfaces that are reused for multiple patients.

There is a broad choice of disinfectant products that can be used in medical practices, which can make buying the right disinfectants for the right applications completely overwhelming.

Here are a few factors for you to consider when buying disinfectants for your healthcare facility.

Think about your practice

Firstly, think about the instruments and surfaces you will need to disinfect, as this will have an impact on which disinfectant products are most suitable for your needs.

Different types of equipment in your practice will likely need varying levels of care and cleaning, from sterile instruments, to cleaning common surfaces. It is important to consider the compatibility of the disinfectant with the surfaces that will need to be cleaned.

Legal regulations

Disinfectants available for use in a medical setting in Australia are subjected to strict regulations to ensure they meet quality control standards. This is helpful when buying disinfectants for your medical facility, as it guides and assists you to make the right choice.

There are different grades according to the intended use of the disinfectant– to clean sterile instruments, medical equipment or general surfaces – and the claims made on the label and in marketing material are subjected to certain guidelines.

You can read a summary of the current regulations for disinfectants in Australia here.

User acceptability

Convenience is also a key factor to guide your choice of disinfectant. Is it easy to use? Will your staff feel comfortable cleaning your facility with it?

This is particularly evident for disinfectants that will come into contact with skin, such as hand disinfectant gels. If it is likely to cause irritation and is not widely acceptable, some staff may be less inclined to use it appropriately, becoming negligent with hygiene standards.

Antimicrobial activity

Perhaps the most important factor in your choice of disinfectant is its effectiveness as an antimicrobial.

In a clinical setting, bacterial infections can grow and spread easily among patients, making it an essential consideration. Antibacterial properties in a disinfectant can help to minimise spread and hospital-based bacterial infections.

Cost

The final point to consider before buying a disinfectant is the cost. Most medical practices find it is worthwhile to stock several grades of disinfectants for varying purposes.

More expensive but higher quality disinfectants can be used for medical instruments that will come into contact with sensitive areas of the body, whereas a cheaper disinfectant with adequate action may be more appropriate for general purposes.

There is no disinfectant that is sure to be the best for all medical practices. Instead, you should consider your specific needs and measure that against the available options to make your choice.

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