Veterinary Clinics

Environmental Services

People expect clean—from shiny floors and fresh-smelling air to readily available hand hygiene stations and effective, germ-killing disinfection. In today’s world, cleanliness is not negotiable. Partnering with MasVida Health Care Solutions means better outcomes. Not only can we reduce your overhead, eliminate variability, and improve quality, but we can save you time, effort, and precious resources to help you focus on what really matters—your pets, staff, and customers.

Keeping Pets, Owners,
and Staff Safe

Cleaning has always played an important role in the safety and success of veterinary practices. Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols are paramount as businesses return to normalcy.

Clinics typically provide wellness exams centered on preventative care and regular checkups. While they can perform spaying and neutering procedures, for more complex cases they refer out to a better-equipped hospital. While they’ll have medications and medicines, they might not be as well-stocked as an animal hospital.

Pathogens of Greatest Infection Control Concern for a Vet Clinics

N

Parainfluenza virus (canine)

N

Parvoviruses (canine, feline)

N

Respiratory coronavirus (canine)

N

Salmonella spp.

N

Multidrug-resistant organisms

  • Acinetobacter spp.
  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus spp.
  • Staphylococcus spp.
  • Pseudomonas spp.
N

Adenovirus (canine)

N

Bordetella bronchiseptica

N

Calicivirus (feline)

N

Distemper virus (canine)

N

Herpesvirus (feline)

N

Influenza viruses (canine, novel)

N

Leptospira interrogans

N

Microsporum canis

Recommended Best Practices and Solutions

Hand Hygiene

Z

Using typical technology like mops, buckets and rags slows down enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols while also increasing the risk of cross contamination. Electrostatic spray technology is a more cost effective and labor reducing process.

Z

Place hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting resources near the exam room to improve compliance.

Z

Make sure sinks are well-stocked with soap and paper towels for handwashing.

Z

Safeguard your environment with a customized solution that produces better outcomes. Learn more here.

Z

Implement proper disinfection protocols for equipment, work areas, and traffic areas

Z

Patient and staff flow, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, and PPE serve as the foundation for ICPB practices and should be addressed in all practice programs.

Z

Use a complete hand hygiene program including a full line of effective hand hygiene products, dispensers, education, awareness, and behavioral modification tools, and training.

Z

Consider designating staff to steward supplies and encourage appropriate use by residents, visitors and staff.

Z

Hand Hygiene Assessment: Learn how you can reduce overhead, eliminate variability, improve quality, and positively impacts resident satisfaction using this free evaluation.

Recommended Best Practices and Solutions

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

Z

Increase environmental cleaning

Clean and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, elevator buttons, bathroom surfaces/fixtures, remote controls and wheelchairs.

Z

Make sure EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectants

These are available to allow for frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces and shared resident care equipment. Properly clean, disinfect and limit sharing of medical equipment between residents and areas of the facility. Refer to List N on the EPA website for EPA-registered disinfectants that have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogens program for use against COVID-19.

Z

Environmental Cleaning Assessment

Assess your current program and learn how you can provide better care while decreasing costs. Learn more here.

Early identification of infectious cases (e.g., phone triage) to prevent exposures within the main hospital areas
Example of an Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Protocol
l

Establish a dedicated isolation room (preferably with a direct to outside or alternate entrance in a lower-traffic area)

l

Place dedicated equipment within the isolation room

l

Place hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfection resources near exam rooms to improve compliance

l

Install (or use) nonporous materials for work surfaces and floors for more effective disinfection

l

Develop and implement infection control policies and procedures (written infection control plan)

l

Provide staff training on infection control protocols: isolation, infectious disease outbreaks, use of PPE, disinfection procedures, proper animal handling and restraint

l

Limit staff access to patients with suspected or known infectious diseases

l

Place signs to deter unauthorized persons from entering isolation areas

l

Use higher levels of protection (e.g., masks, eye protection) when performing necropsies, dental procedures, obstetrics, or other procedures for which there is a splash or aerosol hazard depending on the target pathogen

l

Use gloves and gowns when in contact with infected animals, their bodily fluids, or contaminated surfaces/equipment or bedding

l

Implement proper disinfection protocols for equipment, work areas, and traffic areas

l

Establish effective waste management and soiled laundry protocols

l

Provide rabies pre-exposure vaccination for staff

l

Require hand hygiene between patients

l

Limit and control infectious patient transport throughout the hospital to essential purposes only

Z

Ensure appropriate contact time, rinse with clean water, and allow the treated area to dry, as stated above.

Z

In known contaminated or high-risk areas, a second application of a disinfectant with wide spectrum (e.g., accelerated hydrogen peroxide product) should be considered as a final decontamination step

Z

Apply disinfectant solution at the indicated concentration and ensure the appropriate contact time (allotted time required for disinfectant to remain wet on the surface to kill the pathogens of interest; time is based on the product, concentration, and targeted pathogens but generally 5–10 min). Rinse thoroughly with clean water; this is especially important for disinfectants that leave a residue or for surfaces vulnerable to damage from the disinfectant. Always follow the disinfectant label for appropriate use, concentration, and contact time (see Figures 3, 4; Table 11 for choosing a disinfectant).

Z

As applicable, remove all bedding and organic material (e.g., feces, feed, hair, linens, bandage, or other materials) and dispose in designated waste bin. Gloves should be worn during this procedure.

Z

Allow the area to dry or manually do so. If excess water remains, subsequently applied disinfectants may be diluted to the point of inefficacy.

Z

Have all material safety data sheets or product safety data sheets for cleaning and disinfection materials available. Follow instructions for proper mixing, disposal, and PPE (e.g., gloves, eye protection). As able, ensure the area is well ventilated.

Z

Exam rooms and cages should be cleaned and disinfected immediately following use. Place signage at the room entry that it should not be used until cleaning and disinfection is completed.

Z

Allow the treated area to dry as much as possible before reintroducing animals or reusing the area.

Z

“Wet”clean surfaces with warm water and detergent. Scrubbing surfaces is often necessary to remove feces or bodily fluids, biofilms, and stubborn organic debris, especially in animal housing areas.

Z

“Dry”clean surfaces (e.g., sweeping, wiping with disposable microfiber cloth) to remove loose organic material.

Z

Rinse with clean water. For all rinsing and product application procedures, care must be exercised to avoid overspray. High-pressure washing should be avoided. Higher pressures can help remove stubborn organic debris but may also force debris and organisms into crevices or porous materials, from which they can later emerge. Additionally, high-pressure washing causes aerosolization and overspray, which may spread organisms widely, even into previously uncontaminated areas.

A veterinary team’s best work can be undone by a breach in infection control, prevention, and biosecurity (ICPB).

Such a breach, in the practice or home-care setting, can lead to medical, social, and financial impacts on patients, clients, and staff, as well as damage the reputation of the hospital. To mitigate these negative outcomes, the AAHA ICPB Guidelines Task Force believes that hospital teams should improve upon their current efforts by limiting pathogen exposure from entering or being transmitted throughout the hospital population and using surveillance methods to detect any new entry of a pathogen into the practice. To support these recommendations, these practice-oriented guidelines include step-by-step instructions to upgrade ICPB efforts in any hospital, including recommendations on the following: establishing an infection control practitioner to coordinate and implement the ICPB program; developing evidence-based standard operating procedures related to tasks performed frequently by the veterinary team (hand hygienecleaning and disinfectionphone triage, etc.); assessing the facility’s ICPB strengths and areas of improvement; creating a staff education and training plan; cataloging client education material specific for use in the practice; implementing a surveillance program; and maintaining a compliance evaluation program. 

Practices with few or no ICPB protocols should be encouraged to take small steps. Creating visible evidence that these protocols are consistently implemented within the hospital will invariably strengthen the loyalties of clients to the hospital as well as deepen the pride the staff have in their roles, both of which are the basis of successful veterinary practice.

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