Running a veterinary clinic can be very complex.  Not only does a clinic manager have to deal with their many furry patients, they must make sure that billing is performed accurately, clinic stock is well managed, and the clinic is kept impeccably clean. 

Unfortunately, some clinics do not pay sufficient attention to cleanliness.  This leads to a variety of problems including customers developing a poor opinion of the clinic, contagious diseases spreading between animals and animals being more distressed when they visit the clinic.  

Below we discuss the benefits of keeping a clean veterinary clinic and offer some practical advice for doing so!

Reduced  Risk Of Contagious Diseases Spreading
Many of the animals treated at a veterinary clinic will be suffering from a contagious disease.  In many cases, the veterinary staff may not be aware of the diseases an animal has when first admitted.  Many diseases can be transmitted through saliva, blood, faeces or urine.  If these hazardous materials are not removed efficiently, a number of animals may become ill with the same disease.

A dirty veterinary clinic will also have a higher risk of bacterial infections or viruses spreading between animals.  If poor hygiene leads to a number of animals contracting the same medical condition, your clinic could become vulnerable to legal action. 

Reduced Risk Of Parasites Transferring Between Animals
Many animals carry parasites which can be transferred to humans or animals.  In a veterinary clinic, the most common parasites will be fleas, ticks and mites.

These parasites love dirty environments where they may move between hosts more easily.  Fleas and mites are particularly adept at jumping between hosts.  They can survive for long periods outside of a host, residing in clothing, bedding, towels, dirt, carpet and other fabrics.

If customers bring their animals in for treatment, then realise they have picked up a parasite whist at the clinic, they will be far from impressed.

Convey A More Professional Appearance

Having a clean practice is important if you want to be regarded as a professional veterinary clinic.  Human clients will notice if the floor is unclean, if the environment smells bad or if there are unattended spills on the floor.  Having a dirty clinic reflects poorly upon your business and many clients will simply vote with their feet and go elsewhere. 

Keeping Your Practice Clean Helps With The Management Of Inventory
If your veterinary practice is messy and disorganized it can soon become difficult to keep track of your inventory.  This may lead to your business frequently running out of stock or not having the medications it requires for treating patients.  Both of these outcomes can negatively affect your clinic’s bottom line.   

A Clean Practice is Less Stressful For Animals
Visiting a veterinary clinic can be a stressful event for animals.  This can be worsened if the clinic has a strong smell of vomit, urine or blood.  Distressed animals are far more difficult to handle and distress could potentially lead to worse medical outcomes.

How To Ensure Your Practice is Hygienic

A few simple tips:

Have a Procedure for Cleaning up Spills and Accidents
Develop a procedure with staff for handling spills and accidents.  Your practice should have a “spill kit” that includes the cleaning equipment required to handle spills of different types including vomit, blood, faeces and urine. 

The kit should include disinfectants, soapy water, a white vinegar solution, paper towels, buckets and signage to alert people of the wet floor.  Put all components of the spill kit in a single area or on a movable platform.

When a spill or accident occurs, staff should never have to go searching for the tools necessary for a cleanup.  They should be able to simply roll out the spill kit and take care of any issues quickly and efficiently.

Encourage Regular Hand Washing

Staff who fail to regularly wash their hands can transfer germs between animals or onto inanimate objects in the practice.  Make sure that your staff remember to wash their hands regularly by providing convenient hand washing stations and signage to remind them.

Have a Routine Cleaning Schedule
It is important to set up a cleaning schedule and inform staff of the correct procedures for cleaning the clinic.  Some parts of the clinic may need to be cleaned after each appointment, some may need daily cleaning and others may only need a weekly scrub down.  Track each cleaning task, the required frequency of the task and keep a record to show when it has been completed for the day or week.  Make sure all staff understand exactly how much cleaning is required to keep the practice hygienic.

Employ Professional Janitorial Services
Veterinary clinics often employ professionals to give the clinic a very thorough clean.    Professional janitorial services understand which parts of a working environment are prone to harbouring germs and will ensure that the practice is very hygienic at all times.