Your chiropractic table is like the hub of your business.
Every patient that walks in your doors is most likely going to have some type of contact with your table, making cleaning and disinfecting its surfaces critical to ensuring their health and safety while in your care.
Who to follow
While there are no current cleaning and disinfecting guidelines in place strictly for chiropractic offices and their equipment, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided a Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, which could be applied in this type of setting.
According to these 2008 guidelines, chiropractic tables would be considered a noncritical environmental surface as they “come in contact with intact skin but not mucous membranes.” As such, they need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to avoid the possibility of spreading any type of infectious disease or condition from patient to patient.1
Because multi-use towels can ultimately spread bacteria and contagions, the CDC recommends cleaning surfaces like chiropractic tables with disposable towels that are created with the sole purpose to be used once and discarded. If you do choose to clean and disinfect your table with reusable cloths, they recommend that you at least wash them in detergent and then dry them for two hours at 80 degrees as the heat can help kill contaminants.
As far as how often you should clean your table, the CDC simply states “on a regular basis, when spills occur, and when these surfaces are visibly soiled.” While the second two recommendations go without saying, the definition of “regular” is left open to interpretation.
Set a schedule for your particular practice based on the number of patients you see, whether it is at the end of every business day, three times a week, or some other timeframe that you feel works for you and your patients.
Selecting a solution
To kill any germs on your chiropractic table, you’ll also want to use a disinfectant. When choosing which one works best for you, it is important to realize that some ingredient selections are better than others.
For example, alcohol has been found to be ineffective against bacterial spores, thus making it not a good option to consider, whereas chlorine-containing products have many benefits such as being antimicrobial and rather inexpensive to use.
The CDC also suggests that the cleaner should be “an EPA-registered low- or intermediate-level disinfectant,” staying away from any high-level solutions.
For best results, always follow the instructions on whichever product you use. Contact times, or the time it takes for the disinfectant to be effective, range from one to three minutes.
Safety for all
Whether cleaning or disinfecting your chiropractic table, the CDC reminds you that your safety is important too. Be sure to wear gloves so the solutions don’t come into contact with your skin. Also, ventilate the area around your table as well as you can so you’re not breathing in the fumes.
Cleaning and disinfecting your tables will ensure patient safety. Selecting cleaning solutions and a schedule that works for your office will smoothly integrate this safety tactic into your practice. As always, a safer practice leads to happier patients.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008.” http://www.cdc.gov/hicpac/Disinfection_Sterilization/acknowledg.html. Updated December 2009. Accessed August 2015.