Bedpan cleaning instructions

18 Mar 2022

A step-by-step guide to properly maintaining bedpans

In using bedpan washer-disinfectors, care utensils are emptied, cleaned, and disinfected with steam. However, the machine only makes the utensils hygienically clean if you operate it correctly and you have a well thought-out treatment process.

The process for treating bedpans has not yet been defined, but together with Dr. Eva Fritz, university-trained biologist at the German consulting centre for hospital epidemiology and infection control (BZH), we have developed a flowchart for the individual work steps.

Step 1: Put the bedpan down and take care of the patient

Do's

  • Best storage space: Put the bedpan on a side trolley, the floor with an underlay, or the rubbish bin can if necessary (when standing securely).
  • If the bedpan is dirty, wipe and disinfect the storage surface afterwards.
  • After providing patient care, change disposable gloves or disinfect hands.

Don'ts

  • Do not put it down in a position that someone could trip over it.
  • Never put it down on the patient's bed, bedside table, or chair.

Step 2: Transport filled bedpan

Do's

  • When leaving the patient’s room, only touch the door handle with the other, clean hand.
  • This is because it is the part of the patient environment and key transmission vector that you should touch only with disinfected hands or clean gloves.

Don'ts

  • Switch hands (clean, unclean).
  • Interrupt transport—do it quickly and safely.

Step 3: Enter utility room

Do's

  • Only open the door of the utility room using the clean hand.
  • It would be even more hygienic if the door can be opened with a foot switch.

Step 4: Open bedpan washer-disinfector

Do's

  • Only use your clean hand to open the door because you will touch it again when removing the disinfected care utensil. This is the only way to prevent a chain of contamination.
  • It would be even more hygienic with bedpan washer-disinfectors with automatic door opening, which are opened by foot switch or by holding a hand in front of the sensor.

Step 5: Place the bedpan in the device properly

Do's

  • Place the care utensils and their contents correctly in the bedpan washer-disinfector while wearing gloves according to the instructions. (Put stickers with illustrations of the operating instructions near the device.)
  • Insert the cover of the bedpan separately in the position provided.
  • The device performs the emptying process when the door is closed.

Don'ts

  • Do not come into contact with the contents.
  • Never empty the bedpan and urine bottle manually into the machine, neither into a toilet or a separate slop sink unit. This is because splashes and released aerosols increase the risk of contamination.
  • Only place care utensils for which the device is intended (no diapers, bandages, flower vases, trays, etc.)

Step 6: Start device

Do's

      • Use your clean hand to close the bedpan washer-disinfector.
      • Select the programme according to the washware and the degree of soiling.
      • Also use your clean hand to operate the start button.
      • Remove and dispose of the contaminated glove properly.
      • An absolute must: disinfect your hands.

Step 7: Remove the care utensils after disinfection

Do's

      • After the cleaning process, open the door, remove cleaned and disinfected care utensils, and close the door again—all using your clean hand.
      • It would be even more hygienic with bedpan washer-disinfectors with automatic door opening, which are opened by foot switch or by holding a hand in front of the sensor.

You can now safely touch and reuse the care utensils without hesitation.