Have Your Healthcare Cleaning Services Been Under the Weather?
Finding a reputable, experienced, responsive commercial cleaning company can be challenging for ANY Facility Manager, but if you manage a healthcare facility, finding medical cleaning is even tougher. Maybe you are looking for a medical cleaning company as we speak, or maybe your current medical office cleaning services simply aren’t cutting it. Medical facility cleaning services offer a degree of complexity, compliance and care that only a small, select few medical cleaning companies are prepared to deliver. If a janitorial services company doesn’t understand the heightened requirements of medical cleaning, there is a great deal at risk. First and foremost is patient health. The risk of the spread of infectious diseases in healthcare environments is very real. Beyond that, there is the reputation of your facility. In a healthcare setting, patients and their families often look at cleanliness and medical care as hand in hand. Even if medical care is very good, a less than clean environment can negatively affect the perception of that care. On top of that, a less than clean environment will make hiring and retaining the best healthcare professionals much harder. Trusting your hospital cleaning and medical office cleaning to an experienced medical cleaning company with demonstrated success in medical cleaning can get your facility maintenance a clean bill of health. It isn’t easy to diagnose the problems and find the right treatment, but in the long run, it is an important component of protecting the health and reputation of your facility.
Poor Healthcare Cleaning Makes People Sick
All businesses should work hard to present a clean and well maintained facility to the public. It’s just good for business. However, medical facilities are under even more pressure to present a clean, welcoming face to their patients, families and medical staff. Not only does the perception of a less than clean facility hurt your reputation, it can make people sick. Each year, health care-associated infections (HAIs) pose a serious risk for those seeking medical care. These dangerous infections present serious complications and can be highly resistant to treatment. If your hospital cleaning services aren’t what they need to be, you are gambling with patient health and your facility’s reputation.
Germs & Microbes Lurk Out of Sight
What makes aseptic cleaning so tough is that disease causing germs and microbes lurk out of sight. These invisible to the naked eye, tiny little things can wreak so much havoc and destruction in a healthcare environment. We all want to frequent businesses that are clean and well maintained, and healthcare facilities are no exception, however what’s even more critical than the dirt and grime you might see is the stuff you CAN’T see. Infection control is a key factor in protecting patient health and achieving the most favorable health outcomes. In your hospital, clinic, ambulatory surgical center, medical offices, it simply isn’t enough that your commercial cleaning company keep things looking clean, they must understand and implement science and evidence-based cleaning products and methods. This can apply to the cleaning products themselves as well as correct use. It also should be implemented in best practices for reducing cross contamination like color coded cloths and team cleaning. If medical office cleaning services fail to thoroughly train their teams on the science of clean and janitorial industry best practices, the service you get will suffer.
Hospital Environmental Services & Healthcare Cleaning Require More From Your Janitorial Services Company
No one likes to frequent a dirty looking or less than clean business. We’ve all been in an establishment or facility that was suffering from a lack of adequate maintenance. It isn’t at all conducive to a good experience. But in some businesses it matters more than others. Cleaning and maintenance in a medical environment are much more significant to the patient’s overall experience and perception of their care. Think about it, if you enter a retail establishment that is poorly maintained, you will certainly notice, but you may still purchase something and even come back. On the other hand, if you are preparing for a surgical procedure or considering a new General Practitioner and you see a poorly maintained medical facility, chances are you will hightail it out of there are reconsider your options. There’s simply to much at risk to do otherwise. Patients and their families are already in a vulnerable position handing over important care to someone else, when you add unnecessary uncertainty to that, you make things even tougher for them.
Understanding What You Need From Medical Janitorial Services
There are some questions you should think about when considering changing medical office cleaning companies or newly outsourcing your health care cleaning. Do you have compliance issues that your medical cleaning company must understand and adhere to? Does your center have a green cleaning mandate? Have you had past complaints and pain points that you absolutely need a new janitorial service to address? Are you working with a less than ideal budget? What is most important to you most beyond the basics? Then there are the questions you must ask of your prospective health care cleaning service. Do your cleaning personnel receive the training and education to effectively clean a facility delivering medical and healthcare services? Do your people understand critical and non-critical cleaning, disinfecting protocols, correct product usage, specific product directions, dwell times, when and where personal protective equipment is needed and cleaning for health? Do you have systems in place to guarantee reliability through accountability like regular janitorial inspections? Do you have specific experience with my type of medical facility? Do you have existing protocols for Medical Groups, Healthcare Facilities, Healthcare Buildings, Medical Centers, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Patient Rooms Hospitals, Examination Rooms, Restrooms and any other areas that can be found in your facility? Experience and skill set matter in any commercial cleaning, but even more so in a medical setting.
Is Your Medical Cleaning Service Informed About Health Regulations?
As a Facility Manager in a medical facility, you have even more to balance than Facility Managers overseeing general commercial buildings. The complexities of compliance requirements and protecting the public trust are paramount. If your prospective commercial cleaning company doesn’t already have at the very least, a basic working knowledge of your compliance requirements and patient service goals, what is the likelihood they are going to be a true partner in helping you achieve them? Do they understand HCAHPS and how cleanliness is measured in the patient assessment? Are they aware of the relevant HIPPA, HCAHPS, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), CDC (Centers for Disease Control), AORN (Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses), and Blood Borne Pathogen Training recommendations and requirements? Do they understand the risk of HAIs and their part in reducing these risks? Understanding where they can work in concert with you to create a welcoming, healthy medical facility and hit all the compliance benchmarks is significant.
Hospital Housekeeping Services Must Have Systems to Assure Success
How will we get somewhere if we don’t know where we are going? Systems within a janitorial service act as maps guiding us to effective, consistent, responsive medical cleaning services. Without appropriate systems, even well intentioned commercial cleaning companies will lose their way. Medical office cleaners and hospital cleaning teams aren’t robots, they are people. People require systems and procedures to understand what is required of them and manage their workloads and responsibilities, we all do. In the absence of systems and even quality control, we are leaving very important components of facility management and even patient health to chance. While the way these systems look may differ, the best systems have checklists of duties outlining who does what and when. Additionally, there should be a means of easily communicating problems or shifting requirements between you the Facility Manager, your janitorial company and its staff. Similarly, you should be informed well ahead of an issue who is your point of contact when there is an issue or emergency. Ask about your prospective janitorial companies systems, ask to see them. Just the act of inquiring about issues like training, screening and such send any new cleaning company the message that you understand your business, their business and are prepared to hold them accountable to their agreements.
Is Your Medical Cleaning Company Prepared to Deliver?
What should your health care cleaning company do? They should conduct regular safety compliance training for OSHA, HIPPA, & Blood borne Pathogens. They must be well aware of and train their teams on the correct use of disinfectants in order to achieve optimal infection control. They should use EPA approved, spore killing disinfectant cleaning agents wherever required or recommended in your facility. They should conduct regular janitorial inspections to maintain quality service. They should use technology to advance and streamline their processes and costs. They absolutely must be compliant with all federal, state, and local regulations. They should certainly arrive equipped with considerable experience working in hospitals and other medical environments. They should expend the time and effort to bring on people who are a good fit in medical facilities, then train and equip them for success.
Professional Certification Can Be Your Shortcut to An Effective Healthcare Cleaning Service
Professional certifications like the ISSA’s CIMS, Cleaning Industry Management Standard, offer you as a Facility Manager a free and useful tool in finding your next medical cleaning company. CIMS acts much like board certification does for physicians. CIMS offers additional training and benchmarks for janitorial professionals committed to excellence within their industry. The process is grueling and the requirements are tough and independently verified. This means CIMS isn’t just an empty trophy handed out to whomever came to the meeting that year. It is a hard won, rigorous management standard that measures business areas that directly impact you the customer. CIMS offers a great way to put together a preliminary list of prospective hospital cleaning companies from which you can then do walk throughs, meetings and request for proposals (RFP). Then you can compare quotes and familiarize yourself with the companies and they way they conduct business and choose the best partner for your facility.