Terminal cleaning describes a cleaning method used in healthcare environments to control the spread of infections.
Nosocomial infections claim approximately 90,000 lives in the United States annually. When patients are hospitalized and identified as having methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or infections that can be spread to other patients, best practices isolate these patients in rooms that are subjected to terminal cleaning when the patient is discharged.
Terminal cleaning methods vary, but usually include removing all detachable objects in the room, cleaning lighting and air duct surfaces in the ceiling, and cleaning everything downward to the floor. Items removed from the room are disinfected or sanitized before being returned to the room.