To reduce liability, health care workers should follow their facility's policies and procedures. Policies are the principles that direct the facility's activities. Policies state what the facility does. Procedures are the methods the facility uses to carry out its policies. Procedures explain how the facility operates.
For example, in order to prevent exposure to environmental pathogens, a hospital has the policy "Cleaners and disinfectants will be used appropriately." The procedures used to carry out this policy are then described. For example, in order to clean and disinfect environmental surfaces in patient-care areas, health care workers should do the following procedures:
Use EPA-registered, hospital detergents and disinfectants, and use them in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions
Keep floors and tabletops visibly clean by cleaning them on a regular basis and clean up spills promptly
Clean high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, bed rails, faucets, and toilets more frequently than minimal-touch surfaces such as walls, blinds, and curtains
Clean mops and cloths after use and allow them to dry before reuse, or use single-use, disposable mop heads and cloths
Avoid dusting methods that disperse dust
Keep vacuums in good repair and equip vacuums with HEPA filters