Sluice room planning
A soiled utility room (or sluice room) is a necessity for every licensed elderly care facility and hospital. Reducing the risk of infection can mean major cost savings for any healthcare facility or hospital.
Planning a soiled utility room
There are four cornerstones to maintaining good hygiene routines;
1. Soiled area
This is an area set aside for soiled goods, kept separate from the clean areas, it acts as a collection point for soiled goods. It might consist of a stainless steel discharge table.
2. Hand washbasin
Most important in the soiled utility room is a well organised sink for washing hands - cleaned and disinfected goods must never be touched with unclean hands. The hand wash sink should be easily accessible, close to the entrance, equipped with a mixer tap operated by arm or elbow and include accessories, such as liquid soap dispensers, disposable paper towels and a waste paper bin.
3. Flusher disinfector
Soiled receptacles, such as bedpans and their lids, urine bottles and toilet buckets, are placed into the flusher disinfector, which will empty, clean and disinfect the receptacles, without further work. The basic rule of hygiene is that all objects that have been in contact with body fluids or secretions, must be reprocessed (cleaned and disinfected) as soon as possible and transferred to a clean storage area.
Flusher disinfectors exist as three models; freestanding to provide correct loading height, wall-mounted to enable under floor cleaning and under-table model to free up workspace.
4. Clean storage area
Disinfected items that are not to be used immediately should be kept away from any soiled surfaces or goods - cupboards or racks provide good storage, a cupboard mounted over the flusher disinfector is one space-saving alternative. In the soiled utility room, there should also be a lockable cupboard or cabinet for storing chemicals or disinfectants and a two bag trolley for dirty linen and waste. Plus, if stainless steel bedpans are used, a heated storage cabinet is a good option.
Clean hands on clean goods
- Microorganisms that may be completely harmless to healthy people can, in care environments, cause serious infections among people with a lowered immunity.
- Bacteria, viruses and fungi are found everywhere and can be transmitted from one individual to another via items that are inadequately cleaned or handled.
- A well designed soiled utility room is the key to preventing the spread of infections.
- Cleaned and disinfected goods must never be touched or handled with unclean hands.
- Touching cleaned goods with unclean hands means the goods become decontaminated and the risk of spreading infections increases.
- Hands must therefore always be disinfected before touching cleaned and disinfected goods.
Clean hands on clean goods is the dominant rule for all working procedures in the soiled utility room.