Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

Christine Duquette

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Green Cleaning Is the Future & the Future Is Here

Posted by Christine Duquette on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 10:36 AM

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Green cleaning is the future and the future is here. Slowly but surely, green cleaning is simply becoming the way we do things. Green cleaning, once a feel good buzzword with little teeth behind it, is building momentum as we all strive for sustainability today and tomorrow. How easy is it to embrace something that is safer, healthier, more sustainable and easier on the planet and those we share it with? And as green cleaning becomes the norm, the higher costs associated with doing the safer and more sustainable thing become a nonissue. In fact, much of the green cleaning processes are about using less and so may even save money as they safeguard the environment.

  

How Will A Green Cleaning Program Benefit MY Facility?

Concerns about human impact on the environment have long been a concern but worries about human health and safety are also gaining traction. Thoughtfulness about the environmental impact of a business isn’t just some hippy dippy new ageism, it’s about the real impact on real people and ultimately, the sustainability of our businesses and our communities. Gratefully, more and more industries are seeking out ways they can do their part to reduce chemical waste, improve air quality and even reduce exposure to noise. They are looking to reduce their footprint, minimize their environmental impact and safeguard our planet, and consumers are taking notice. Many commercial office cleaning services and janitorial services are working hard and applying technology and best practices to reduce the environmental impact of their services and keep cleaners and occupants safer and healthier.

  

The Benefits of Green Cleaning In Your Facility

Green office cleaning can reduce health issues associated with allergens, chemicals and contaminants like bacteria and mold. Similarly, sufficient green cleaning can reduce absenteeism and the productivity decline that often results from colds, flus, other illnesses and absences. There are significant costs associated with reduced productivity and an uptick in absenteeism. Utilizing green cleaning and cleaning for health can mitigate this. Multiple studies suggest that employees working in a safe and healthy work environment are happier with higher levels of job satisfaction, increased morale, greater productivity, elevated employee engagement and less attrition and turnover. Finally, green cleaning helps tackle contemporary environmental issues like air pollution, water pollution, ozone depletion and global climate change. Implementing green cleaning in your facility can position your organization as socially conscious which is a positive with both employees and customers.

  

Green Cleaning Vs. Conventional Cleaning

Conventional cleaning and green cleaning are different in a number of ways. Let’s remember, not all conventional cleaning is bad for the environment. In fact, some conventional cleaning is less wasteful than our current penchant for disposable this and one-use that. But green cleaning branches off from older cleaning methods because of its focus on sustainability, environmental responsibility, health and safety. That means that if there are two, or more, ways to successfully clean and sanitize something, green cleaning will choose the safer, less wasteful, more efficient way.  Sometimes that means greener products and cleaners, more environmentally sound equipment (think Boost floor cleaners and quieter, HEPA filtered vacuums), and practices that support sustainability and conservation efforts. Effective green cleaning programs support health, safety and environmental responsibility combined with effective service delivery because really, if cleaning is GREEN but INEFFECTIVE, it is not doing anyone any good. Some green clean practices might include safe chemical storage, disposal and labeling. Every single commercial office cleaning company should do this already but it might amaze you how many are not. The right office cleaning company will NOT neglect these important practices. Furthermore, effective green practices might include reducing the disposal of plastic trash liners by reusing them if they are intact and not soiled with food or liquid. This easy green habit saves money and limits the amount of plastic trash your facility generates. Similarly, using hand towels and toilet paper with a high percentage of recycled and recyclable material, cleaning with microfiber rags rather than disposable towels and recycling offer further green, environmentally conscious practices. 

 

Is Green Office Cleaning Better?

The short answer is yes, green cleaning is objectively better. Not only is it good for the environment, it’s good for the office cleaners themselves, your building’s occupants and even your bottom line. Utilizing special equipment like HEPA filter and reduced-noise vacuum cleaners is good for the planet, air quality and noise pollution. Using Boost floor cleaners is good because it saves labor hours and money, uses fewer chemicals, less water and does a great job cleaning floors! It’s all true, environmentally sound equipment can reduce noise emissions, improve energy usage and reduce the excess use of cleaning products. It’s a win-win no matter how you look at it.

And to really make a claim of green cleaning, your commercial cleaning company should also green cleaners and products as a part of their green cleaning program. Ideally, your office cleaning company should offer non-toxic, biodegradable, EPA certified cleaning products for use in your facility. And along with the green products must come green training because your cleaning company cannot skip the vital step of training their employees in the green cleaning best practices so that you and your facility reap all of the benefits of a well planned and executed green cleaning program.

  

Innovations Make Cleaning Greener & BETTER

Take for example HEPA air filter backpack vacuums. They are cleaner, easier on air quality, and lightweight meaning they are easier on the cleaners in an ergonomic sense but they are also super easy to maneuver meaning office cleaners can vacuum faster and cover more area in less time saving you money. And the HEPA air filter removes common allergens from circulating throughout the air like dust mites, pet hair, dead skin cells, pollen, mold and bacteria. Allergens like these are likely circulating throughout your facility causing and aggravating allergies. The HEPA filters are designed to capture and contain just under 100% of allergens and asthma triggers significantly enhancing and safeguarding indoor air quality.

And consider other innovations in cleaning that not only deliver better results but also do them in greener ways. For instance, the best commercial carpet cleaning companies have abandoned Bonnet carpet cleaning for low moisture, state of the art carpet cleaning like the Whittaker method. Not only does this dry method carpet cleaning use less water and less chemicals, it’s safer on carpets and gets them cleaner faster, dried faster and back in service. Less water usage, less waste, no harsh chemicals and better results means it simply makes more sense than older, conventional carpet cleaning methods. It’s not just the RIGHT thing to do, it’s the BETTER thing to do.

 

Does Green Cleaning Have to Cost More?

Whether your business is healthcare, education, retail, hospitality, corporate or multi-tenant offices, there are affordable green cleaning solutions for your facility. Experienced commercial cleaning companies will help you meet your green cleaning objectives through the use of effective, efficient, sustainable solutions, equipment and techniques that help save the planet without emptying your pockets. Many professional, experienced janitorial companies will have built many green cleaning practices into their overall service delivery. So a number of effective green cleaning practices will cost you no more than conventional cleaning if you choose an experienced, innovative, professional janitorial service.

  

Let There Be No Doubt - Green Cleaning Is the Future & the Future Is Here

Green office cleaning isn’t just the RIGHT thing to do, it’s the SMART thing to do. At Stathakis, we help businesses from all over southeastern Michigan implement solid and effective green cleaning programs and meet their sustainability and even LEEDS objectives. We have spent the last thirty years developing a standard of service delivery and being at the forefront of janitorial innovation and green cleaning. We create lasting relationships with our customers through our consistently higher levels of service. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for green cleaning services and green office cleaning, reach out and let us show you the Stathakis difference.

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Tags: Green Cleaning

Commercial Cleaning 101: Clean, Sanitize & Sterilize Oh My!

Posted by Christine Duquette on Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 09:26 AM

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What is the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting? You might be tempted to say that, there is, in fact, no difference between them. All of those terms basically mean clean something right? Hopefully you commercial cleaning company will disagree with you on this point. The language and science of cleaning has evolved, and will continue to evolve and grow more complex as the industry expands to meet the needs of an ever-changing marketplace. While it is the responsibility of your commercial cleaning company to keep up, as a Facility Manager, it is wise to have a handle on some of the basic terms. Should you be on the look out for a new commercial cleaning company, understanding some of the industry terms can help you keep prospective janitorial service companies on their toes and ask all the right questions. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting? Want to know what pathogens are & why your commercial cleaning company should too? We have the answers to your burning cleaning questions.We’ve put together a list of some key terms that will undoubtedly be useful to know:

 

Cleaning: Most of us would like to think we know this one! But surprisingly, cleaning only refers to removing visible gunk from a surface.

 

Mechanical Cleaning: Good, old fashioned elbow grease. Mechanical Cleaning is when you put away the fancy tools and give the surface a good scrubbing.

 

Sanitize: Sanitizing isn’t the same as cleaning. Think about hand sanitizer for a moment. Put it on dirty hands and they aren’t magically clean, just de-germed if you will. In your building, before a surface can be sanitized it should be cleaned. Then, an antimicrobial solution is applied for a specific dwell time to achieve the desired 99.9999% bacterial and viral kill rate.

 

Dwell Time: This is a word you would only know if you spend your time reading the back of cleaning products! You might not do that but we do. Dwell times refer to how long an antimicrobial or disinfectant solution must be left on a pre-cleaned surface before it can be considered sanitized or disinfected. The product needs a specific amount of time to do its intended job. This one is important because if your cleaning company is rushing through their work and not following manufacturer recommendations, you will not get as safe, healthy and effective as possible.

 

Sterilize: To sterilize something requires the almighty autoclave or something equally as powerful to insure a 100% kill rate on microorganisms, viruses, and any type of fungal spore. For those of you that have seen an autoclave before, you know that this isn’t a practical cleaning solution for a big, busy building and for that reason is only used on medical and dental tools as necessary.

 

Microorganism:The word you missed on your high school biology test has come back to haunt you. All a microorganism is is any bacteria, virus, or spore that can’t be seen without a microscope.

 

Pathogen: When microorganisms turn evil. Any microorganism that can cause illness or disease is a pathogen.

 

Hot Spots: Similar in nature to the touch point. Hot spots are areas within a building that are frequently traversed and touched, like handles, shared business machines, any surface, knob, handle, switch or the like. These areas need extra attention to make sure that they are truly clean because as they are touched often and by many, they become the perfect little hubs for the evil pathogens, those microorganisms intent on making you, your employees and building’s visitors sick.

 

Bactericide: When life gets to be a little too much for the bacteria. A bactericide is any solution that is specifically targeted to destroy bacteria.

 

Touch Points: The locations in your office or workplace that are touched the most often. Knowing the touch points in your workplace lets you know which areas need special attention because these areas see many hands and many hands see many mouths and noses which see many microorganisms, many of which are pathogens.

 

Team CleaningWith http://www.stathakis.com/blog/janitorial-services-101-zone-cleaning-versus-team-cleaningt, a building is divided by duties, not zones so team members specialize. There may be one vacuum specialist, one restroom specialist, one duster and light duties specialist and similar. This specialization of members of a team creates more efficient, more consistent results and reduces training costs and equipment costs and well as increases accountability and professionalism.

 

Zone CleaningIn zone cleaning a building is divided into zones, sometimes floors or areas and there is one cleaner to one zone. This is an outdated cleaning style that is inefficient because it results in duplicated equipment and inconsistent results.

 

Cleaning for Health: Unsurprisingly, exactly what it sounds like. Cleaning for health is not only to clean to make something visually appealing, but also to sanitize a surface to prevent the spread of those pesky pathogens and other microorganisms.

 

Smart Cleaning: Smart cleaning uses a detailed analysis of your building to provide customized solutions to reduced budgets and cuts by optimizing services and identifying livable service cuts and scheduling services in a way that balances your budget and building maintenance needs.

 

Cross Contamination: When you use the same rag on to wipe the break room lunch tables that you used on the restroom toilets, things don’t get too clean. In fact, they get even dirtier are germs, microorganisms and pathogens are spread around the various parts of your facility. This is called cross contamination and the best way to address it is with a color coded cloth system, team cleaning, proper product use like utilizing dwell times and manufacturer recommendations and other janitorial best practices.

 

Hopefully with this improved understanding of key cleaning terms, you’ll be better able to understand what your commercial cleaning company is doing, should be doing and better able to communicate what you want and need from them.

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Tags: Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment, Learn Everyday

Medical Cleaning Services From a Patient’s Perspective

Posted by Christine Duquette on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 11:41 AM

michigan medical cleaning, detroit medical cleaning, livonia medical cleaning, downriver medical cleaning, dearborn medical cleaning

As a facility manager, it isn’t unusual to overestimate the effectiveness of our office cleaning services. Maybe our medical office cleaning service started strong but we have noticed that service has slipped below an acceptable level of clean. Or perhaps we just get so used to the state of our building that we stop ‘seeing’ some of the things other people may. Maybe we have simply become so inundated with other issues that we don’t feel like we even have the time to consider new medical cleaning services. The reality is that less than adequate medical cleaning will have a host of negative consequences for your facility. If your medical cleaning is slipping, it might be time to consider your options.

 

Medical cleaning From Your Patient’s Perspective

Remember secret shoppers, those people used by market research companies, watchdog organizations, or even by companies themselves to measure the overall customer experience, quality of service, compliance with regulations and more? The secret shopper would experience the shopping environment in much the same ways a customer would and then offer detailed feedback about their experiences. What would a secret shopper, or ‘secret patient’ have to say about your facility?

On a recent visit to a doctor’s office, I made an effort to really take note of my surroundings and what I can say is a number of health care facilities out there should be glad people are glued to their phones because when I looked around, much of what I saw wasn’t so great. Making my way into the facility, a mid sized clinic of mostly specialists, I noticed there was some debris and trash stuck in and around the bushes on the parking lot. It was a windy day but it looked as if the rubbish had been there some time.

As I made my way in to the facility I noted that the heavy glass entryway doors were greasy with prints and smudges. It was afternoon so I’m sure there had been many people in and out of the building by this point but it being cold and flu season and a medical facility, it did make me feel a bit hesitant about what germs likely covered the door handles. How many people with colds, flus and worse had come in touching those same handles? I know they can’t be cleaned between each individual but seeing the dirty glass doors definitely made me more conscious of the risk.

The walk to get to my physician’s suite was acceptable, carpets looked pretty clean and the overall condition of the walls, baseboards, pictures and lights looked good. I stopped at the office restrooms before my appointment. In a medical facility, I certainly have the expectation of clean restrooms but these were not as well cared for as I would have hoped. I wouldn’t compare them to a port-o-potty or stadium restroom but for a healthcare facility and high-end office building, they needed to be better maintained. There was water pooling up around the sink, the mirrors were wet and spotted. Trash and used paper towels had started collecting around a trash can. The baseboards were dusty and the drain had some mop string stuck in it. The stalls appeared clean and it could be because they were a dark color but it was still noticeable that this space needed more in the way of restroom cleaning.

Once in my doctor’s office I noticed that most of the reception area looked good with the exception of the decorative plants being very dusty. After being checked in I was escorted to an exam room. As I waited I took in my surroundings. There was a dark splotch on a cabinet though it was hard to tell how long it had been there. The vinyl baseboards were dusty, scuffed and in need of some attention. The sink had a good deal of mineral build up around the fixtures that probably could have been removed with a good cleaning. The reality is that patients are often kept waiting and they sit and look around and see things we might not notice and we move quickly through our facilities getting work done.

 

Medical Cleaning Services Matter More Than You Might Think

Medical office cleaning is a vital piece of managing your healthcare facilities. A medical facility is looked at far differently than a retail facility or even a basic office building. People are receiving care and their expectations of cleanliness and order are simply different. Medical cleaning companies must be cognizant of how important their contribution is to your patient’s overall sense of care and your reputation. If you have a medical cleaning company cleaning your facility below an acceptable level, not only can it chip away at your bottom line, it can actually make people sick. Not to mention that patient satisfaction and even employee satisfaction and retention will suffer. 

 

Don’t Risk Low HCAHPS Scores or Your Valuable Reputation

Problematically, negative experiences are far from unique. A look at HCAHPS surveys demonstrates how many patients are finding the cleanliness of their healthcare facility lacking at best, negligent at worst. Janitorial services that don’t measure up lead to patients and their families wondering about the overall quality of the care they receive at your facility. With something as important as their lives and their health, you cannot give patients or their families extra reasons to worry.

 

A Professional Health Care Facility Requires A Professional Commercial Cleaning Company  

Do you have a truly professional commercial cleaning company? Do they understand the unique requirements of medical cleaning? Do they have an understanding of the compliance issues you are bound by? Do they have the systems and processes to get you the most value for your cleaning budget? If not, it could be that your professional cleaning company isn’t so professional after all. Maybe it is inexperience or maybe inattention but either way, your patients and practitioners all deserve to work in a medical facility that is clean and well maintained.

 

Find the Right Prescription For Your Facility 

Just because a company wants your business doesn’t mean they are worthy of it. Certainly a cleaning company can tell you they are great but the best janitorial companies must be willing to back up their claims with visible systems and processes, verifiable references, documented training and more. When you mention HIPPA and blood-borne pathogens do you get an blank stare? This can be a pretty significant indication that they are not making your business their business. Much like doctors have board certification to indicate specialized knowledge and added training, medical office cleaning services have similar. Within the janitorial, maintenance and cleaning industry, there is CIMS certification. CIMS certification can be a valuable tool for any Facility Manager looking for quality medical cleaning services in Michigan. CIMS certification is an extremely challenging process that requires medical office cleaning companies to demonstrate proficiencies in a variety of areas that directly impact your facility. CIMS certification is a great indicator that you are dealing with a committed professional commercial cleaning dedicated to delivering the level of service and value you would expect from any true professional.

Medical Cleaning Outsourcing Guide

Tags: Hospital & Medical Cleaning

What You Must Know About Superbugs & Medical Cleaning

Posted by Christine Duquette on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 01:53 PM

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The Flu Is Raging This Season, And That’s Not All

This year is proving to be an especially virulent influenza season. Fortune magazine reported that according to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is killing up to 4,000 people each week. “We have a lot to learn still about influenza. It’s a wake-up call about how severe influenza can be, and why we can never let down our guard,” said Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s acting director. But even beyond this year’s super flu, there are so many disease causing bacteria and viruses that lurk around just waiting to make people sick. Of course, medical facilities have a higher risk because of a recurrent influx of sick people. The risk of the flu and superbugs seems to be growing and growing with a host of frightening acronyms like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae), C. difficileEbola and more.

For instance, the frequency of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has been on the rise in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health care facilities. Cases of C. difficile have been increasingly severe with further complications, deaths, and increased cost. The arrival of a hyper virulent strain of C. difficile and the rise in community-acquired C. difficile among healthy patients in the absence of traditional risk factors shows there is a new epidemiology that requires a change in how we do things. When patients require medical care, they understand there are real risks involved, there are also imagined fears that can further scare them and even distort their perception of the quality of care being provided. Cleanliness in your medical facility can both present a real risk to patients as well as set the stage for escalated concern about treatments and procedures. Think about it, if you are scheduled for an outpatient surgery and you come into the facility only to see old coffee stains on waiting area tables, full trashes and dirty bathrooms, how confident are you going to be feeling about the overall cleanliness of the rest of the facility?

 

Superbugs & Medical Cleaning, What Matters Most?

Current research tells us that we have cleaning products and methods that are effective in reducing the bacteria, fungi, viruses and more, all of which reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. But in order for these products and methods to be effective, they must be used correctly. We know what products work and how to use them most effectively, but if your medical cleaning companies front line cleaners are not sufficiently trained on how to use their products and methods, the result will vary and often leave much more room for disease-producing germs to spread throughout your facility fast.

Products that recommend dwell times and orders of steps have instructions that have been created to make these products most effective. Similarly, touch points and hot spots are a critical component of cleaning for health. You need a hospital cleaning service that trains medical cleaners to get you and your facility the best results for a clean and safe environment. So what matters most when it comes to medical cleaning services and health care cleaning? Essentially, it is the training of the people carrying out the cleaning. Unfortunately, not every medical cleaning company does what is needed to assure their teams are adequately trained in both the specifics of medical office cleaning services and the multitude of cleaning products they use to keep your health care facilities clean and safe. Even the best disinfectants, surfactants, fungicides, virucides and bactericides are significantly reduced in efficacy if used improperly. Hospital cleaning companies and medical office cleaning companies that do not sufficiently train their people are frankly not giving them the tools and knowledge to do their best in your facility, safeguarding patient health and the your facility’s reputation.

 

Don’t Let Your Medical Cleaning Company Put You At Risk

We understand that physicians and clinicians vary in terms of aptitude, effectiveness and overall care. Similarly, medical janitorial services vary with their ability to properly clean and maintain your facility. Many, many janitorial companies WANT your business but really, only a select few commercial cleaning companies are truly prepared to deliver a high level of cleaning in a healthcare setting. If you are evaluating your current medical cleaning company or considering alternatives, consider the following:

  • Does the cleaning company actually understand the requirements of medical cleaning?
  • Do they understand regulations and compliance issues connected to medical cleaning?
  • Are they aware of how their work cleaning and maintaining your facility contributes to HCAHPS scores?
  • Do they understand the science behind cleaning, the concept of dwell times and touch points?
  • Is their employee training program detailed, observable and offered for both general cleaning, medical cleaning and products and equipment?
  • Do they provide employees with safety compliance training for OSHA, HIPPA, & Blood borne Pathogens?
  • Do they have a green cleaning program to employ biodegradable, low allergenic, and non-toxic products where possible?
  • Do they hold current industry certifications like the ISSA’s CIMS?

 

Find the Right Medical Cleaning Company & Get the Protection You Need

The right medical cleaning company will not eliminate every risk related to HAIs, superbugs, influenza, C. difficile and more, but they can help you mitigate risk, reduce the likelihood of disease transmission and give your patients and providers an overall sense that your facility is clean, well maintained and healthy. The healthcare cleaning companies that have devoted time and resources into understanding your specific business and structuring their employee training and processes around the unique needs of the medical community will be excited to offer their partnership, knowledge and expertise in the service of your facility. Much like in medicine, there are specialists and generalists and really, when it comes to medical cleaning you need a specialist. Medical cleaning companies that want your business must be able to backup their assertions of great healthcare cleaning services with solid references, documented training and verifiable systems and processes that lead to measurable improvements in service delivery. Find the right medical cleaning company to partner with and so many facets of your operations and success become easier.

Medical Cleaning Outsourcing Guide

Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Industry Best Practices, Hospital & Medical Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

Surviving the Worst Flu Season With Help From Office Cleaning Services

Posted by Christine Duquette on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 10:44 AM

detroit office cleaning company, office cleaning services, office cleaning company, flu, flu season 2018Federal health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioned that this year's flu outbreak is more severe than any other flu since 2009’s swine flu pandemic. Furthermore, CDC officials noted that this season’s flu intensity is still increasing with rising reported numbers of flu sufferers and flu hospitalizations. Not only is this season’s flu worse, CDC officials tell us there is no immediate end in site and many more weeks to come before we start to see a drop in cases. Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the CDC said, “hopefully we’re in the peak currently, since the data is a week behind, or that it peaks soon. Regardless, there is a lot of flu activity happening across the country and likely many more weeks to come.” From Michigan to Texas, health care providers and state officials are working hard to protect their patients and residents as well as diminish the negative impacts of a particularly rough flu season. So what can you as a Facility Manager do to reduce the spread of illness and the resulting losses in productivity and rises in absenteeism? As an employee who just wants to avoid getting the flu or an employer who wants to keep employees healthy and reduce absenteeism, what steps can you take to limit the impact of this year’s flu season on your facility, your people and your business?

1. Cleaning For Health Cannot Be An Afterthought

When it comes to flu season, especially an especially virulent one, Cleaning For Health cannot be an afterthought. What is Cleaning For Health? Cleaning for health isn’t just an industry buzzword, it is a directive with real outcomes for both office cleaning companies and the facilities they clean and care for. Cleaning for health utilizes industry best practices to effectively clean in a way that reduces the spread of disease causing germs. Furthermore, Cleaning For Health requires products and practices that safeguard the health of everyone involved: office cleaners, you and your staff and your customers. What kind of best practices fall under cleaning for health?

  • Color-coding cleaning cloths to avoid unnecessary and dangerous cross contamination. Color-coding can help make sure a towel used to clean a toilet isn’t used again to wipe down your desk
  • Correct labeling of cleaning products with specific use instructions to assure office cleaners knows exactly how each product is to be used.
  • Office cleaners must be trained on the use of contact times and dwell times to insure disinfectant efficacy in reducing and eliminating bacterial and viral loads.
  • Using widely accepted best practices like “touch point” cleaning for maximum impact where it is needed most.
  • Regular office cleaning equipment maintenance to assure optimal operation and effectiveness.

A healthy work environment doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by intention.  Keeping your workplace healthy and getting at least some protection from the flu requires that your office cleaning company put policy and training into place that insures that your office cleaning staff know how to clean to reduce bacteria, viruses and other common infectious diseases and limit the spread of disease in your facility.

 

2. Touch Points A Critical Part of Effective Cleaning & Disease Prevention

What are touch points? They are those most often touched surfaces in any office or facility. This can include phones, shared office equipment like computer mice, door and faucet handles, basically any surface that sees many hands and thus can be the repository for high loads of disease causing germs. To assure an overall healthy work place, public “touch points” like light switches, business machines, elevator buttons, stair rails, telephones, door handles and other surfaces that are frequently touched must get regular cleaning from your professional office cleaning services. Similarly, it can be useful to provide anti-bacterial wipes for employees to periodically wipe down work surfaces and such in between office cleaning.

 

3. Skip “Presenteeism,” When You Are Sick, Stay Home

While you might feel like a hero or feel the pressure to get your work done, presenteeism, coming into work ill, plunges productivity and just causes more absenteeism as one person can get an entire office sick. No one thinks you are tough or dedicated, they’re just going to give you the side eye for exposing them and their families to the flu. When you aren’t feeling your best, the best thing you can do is stay home, stay hydrated and get some rest. It is good for you and good for your coworkers.

 

4. Stop Coughing Or Sneezing Into Your Hands Already!

Has your mom ever told you to cover your mouth with your hands when you sneeze or cough? Well, you can call tell her she had it all wrong! Your hands are one of the worst places to sneeze and cough because they are what you use to touch everything else. The microscopic moisture that leaves your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze is teeming with germs and either left to spread out on their own or coated all over your hands, they will wreak havoc. So what should you do? First, if you are sneezing and coughing, the chances are you are ill and should go home. Even on your best behavior, viruses like the flu are just too good at getting around. Second, if you sneeze, ideally do it into a tissue and then wash your hands immediately. If you haven’t a tissue and you feel a sneeze or cough coming on, cough into the sleeve and corner of your arm. While it isn’t as protective as just being home, at least you do not use this area to touch or handle things making it less likely you will spread germs. And for goodness sake, stop putting your fingers in your mouth. Don’t eat with your fingers, don’t lick your fingers and don’t pick you’re your nose. Viruses, bacteria and other contagions typically enter the human body through the eyes, nose or mouth, and your fingers touch objects and surfaces that may be teeming with disease-causing germs. Similarly, it can be wise to opt out of hand shaking during peak flu and cold season. If you feel impolite declining, make sure you have that hand sanitizer handy.

 

5. Proper Hand Washing Techniques Save Lives

You would think washing your hands would be a kindergarten level skill but you might be surprised how many adults aren’t doing it or are doing it incorrectly. When people aren’t consistently washing their hands, especially during a virulent flu season, germs spread fast. Hands are like high-speed rail for viruses like influenza, an ideal mass transport device for the viruses and bacteria that cause disease to pass from one place and person to another. Proper hand washing cuts down on the spreading of many contagions. You should periodically wash hands during the day but always wash your hands before eating and drinking; after using the bathroom, touching high-hand-contact surfaces, returning to your office or home, blowing your nose, assisting a sick person, and handling any chemicals. Don’t compromise your healthy workplace with less than effective hygiene practices.

 

6. Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Is An Effective Stop-Gap Measure

While not as effective as hand washing, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can contribute to a healthy work place. When hand washing may not be convenient or around counters with shared pens and more, hand sanitizer is a good, portable way to reduce the spread of germs. In order to be effective, hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol. While not a substitute for good old-fashioned hand washing, hand sanitizer can be a good tool in your arsenal against the flu.

 

7. It’s Not Too Late For a Flu Shot

It might seem late in the season if you haven’t already had a flu vaccination but there are weeks to go. The flu shot helps you build the antibodies you need to protect you from the flu. While the flu vaccine isn’t 100%, it has been shown in many seasons to be as much as 90% effective. Flu shots are safe for most people, effective and generally available free or at a very low cost. Ask your doctor if you might be a good candidate for a flu shot. You must get a flu shot every season as strains of influenza change year to year. This season’s flu vaccination is targeted the most prevalent flu strains.

 

If you need help with medical cleaning, day porter services, school cleaning, commercial handyman services, restroom sanitation services or more, please call Stathakis at 1-800-278-1884.

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Tags: Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment

Celebrate Global Handwashing Day October 15th

Posted by Christine Duquette on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

global handwashing day, handwashing for health, janitorial services company detroit 

Global Handwashing Day is in a few days, are you ready to celebrate with a little soap and warm water? Yes, Global Handwashing Day is a real thing and with handwashing being such an effective and cheap way to prevent the spread of disease, it’s no wonder why. Global Handwashing Day is an annual day of global advocacy centered on increasing awareness of the importance of handwashing as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. The 2017 Global Handwashing Day theme is “Our hands, our future!” reminding us that hand washing protects our health and the health of those around us.

 

The CDC, or Centers for Disease Control also are strong advocates of hand washing. As they say, “Handwashing is like a "do-it-yourself" vaccine.” They advocate five simple steps for effective handwashing- wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry. Good hand washing techniques reduce the spread of the flu as well as stomach and respiratory illness and regular handwashing, especially before and activities like preparing food or using the restroom, offer one of the most effective ways to reduce and eliminate germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of disease causing germs to others. The CDC has a number of free and easy to print posters that you can use to help illustrate the importance of hand washing with your tenants or employees.

 

Here at Stathakis, we have long advocated reminding employees and tenants of proper hand washing techniques as one easy way for Facility Managers to reduce the spread of disease causing germs that can raise absenteeism and lower productivity in their facilities. Hand washing is quick, simple and it can keep many people from getting sick. It is a win for everyone, with the exception of the germs. Influenza, the common cold and other easily transmittable illnesses that can wreak havoc on an otherwise well maintained facility. Why are disease-causing germs spread so easily in offices, schools, retail businesses and facilities like them? Well, you have a great many people touching things and surfaces that many other people touch throughout the day. Just one ill person can spread disease causing germs all over your facility. It’s as easy as opening a door and then touching your mouth and bam, you have the flu! It is for this reason that frequent hand washing, especially after using the restroom, blowing your nose or coughing, can go a long way in reducing the germ load in your building.

 

Of course, most of the measures to reduce illness in your facility and maintain a healthy work environment are the responsibility of your janitorial services company. In order to assist in keeping your facility as healthy as possible your janitorial services company should:

  • Understand hot spots and touch points and focus cleaning on where disease causing germs congregate.
  • Follow cleaning product manufacturer instructions regarding dwell times and similar to assure the greatest efficacy of key products like disinfectants and sanitizers.
  • Store and use cleaning chemicals properly.
  • Frequently change mop water and mop heads to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
  • Utilize Team Cleaning where appropriate to reduce cross contamination & improve service through employee specialization.
  • Keep all cleaning equipment adequately maintained.

 

Do your part as a Facility Manager and partner with a commercial cleaning company or janitorial services company that is committed to a healthy work place and you can help reduce the spread of illness in your facility as well as reduce the negative impacts associated with it.

 

Here at Stathakis, we have spent over thirty years developing a standard of service that helps ensure a healthy work place. We have worked hard to develop and put into practice those systems and methods that help reduce and eliminate disease causing bacteria throughout our customer’s facilities. We utilize Smart Cleaning and understand the Science of Clean. We focus on touch points and hot spots to kill the germs where they congregate and spread most easily. We always follow the manufacturer recommendations for cleaning products and we train and manage employees in safe chemical storage.We utilize a host of practices that reduce cross contamination including color coded cleaning cloths and Team Cleaning where applicable. Not only do we follow industry best practices, we help create them through our own innovation and striving to deliver the best in facility maintenance for the businesses of southeastern Michigan. If you are a Facility Manager in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Dearborn, Livonia, Troy, Auburn Hills, Novi, Plymouth, Downriver or surrounding areas and you are looking for commercial cleaning services, office cleaning, school cleaning, industrial cleaning, medical cleaning or other building services, please contact us to learn more about how we can help you maintain a healthy workplace and make your facility shine.

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janitorial pricing

Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Industry Best Practices, Healthy Work Environment

Subpar Commercial Cleaning & Sick Employees Will Cost You

Posted by Christine Duquette on Thu, Sep 21, 2017 @ 02:03 PM

 

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© ISSA

Learn more about how your commercial cleaning company or janitorial services company can help keep your work environment healthy and the importance of services janitorial:

Are You Ready For Flu Season

Flu Season Survival Kit: Enlisting the Help of Your Cleaning Company

10 Tips for Avoiding the Flu at work for a Healthy Work Environment

 

Day-Porter

Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Commercial Cleaning, Healthy Work Environment

Bank Robber Behind Bars Thanks In Part to Stathakis Cleaning Staff

Posted by Christine Duquette on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 @ 11:20 AM

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Stathakis makes the news after the work of their cleaning staff helped catch a Wayne county bank robber. 

Stathakis makes the news a few weeks ago after the work of their cleaning staff helped catch a Wayne county bank robber. According to the News-Herald, James McKellip, accused of robbing banks in at least three cities, made a series of blunders that led to his swift capture. In one of the robberies, at a PNC bank in Ecorse, the suspect fled the bank after demanding money from a teller with a barely legible demand note. The quick thinking teller stayed calm and gave McKellip a few stacks of low denomination bills. She piled them up until it appears the suspect got nervous, grabbed the cash and fled the bank, but not before walking right into the sparkling clean double glass doors, banging his head and leaving a perfect hand print on the glass.

 

Detective Tim Sassak noted that the suspect left a pristine palm print on the glass that Ecorse Police Officer and evidence technician Craig Cieszkowski was able to lift from the glass door. The perfect palm print was then run through the automated fingerprint identification system at the Dearborn Police Department where they got a hit on McKellip. McKellip was later captured by the Fugitive Task Force. As Detective Sassak said, "Four and a half hours after that, my suspect was sitting in front of me in handcuffs."

 "Four and a half hours after that, my suspect was sitting in front of me in handcuffs."   -Detective Sassak

 

Police say McKellip is facing life in prison after multiple charges for a number of area bank robberies. The good work of the Stathakis cleaning staff was instrumental in helping quickly identify and capture McKellip before he could rob any more banks or risk any more lives. Likewise, the perfect hand print on the well-cleaned surface of the door is a critical part of the case against McKellip. Thank you to the Stathakis team for their great work. This case makes it clear that good cleaning can make a big difference. As we like to say, it's ALL about people here at Stathakis!

Day-Porter

Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Customer Focus, Made In Michigan

Get A HEALTHY Value From Your Medical Cleaning Budget

Posted by Christine Duquette on Thu, Sep 01, 2016 @ 03:33 PM

 

detroit medical cleaning, healthcare janitorial services Dearborn, Livonia, Farmington Hills

Cost Versus Value In Your Medical Cleaning

With cleaning hospitals, cleaning medical offices or other healthcare facilities, there is a significant difference between cost and value. Essentially, cost is what you are paying, value is what you are getting. While cost is certainly a factor you must consider when contracting with a medical cleaning service, it can't be the only consideration. Furthermore, it is value that is most important because it brings together the three key factors: 

  1. What you need
  2. What you get
  3. What you pay

A low price is great, but if you aren’t getting what you need to keep your medical facility running smoothly and in compliance, that low low janitorial price means nothing. Now it would be so easy of higher medical cleaning bids precisely correlated to the best service but this isn’t any truer than lowest price is the best price. Unfortunately, when it comes to healthcare cleaning services, price isn’t the best indicator of effective service or value. For value, the key is to understand precisely what you are getting for your janitorial budget. Then you can compare quotes to find which medical office cleaning company is offering you the most services for your cleaning dollar. The truth is that to effectively choose a medical cleaning company, you as a Facility Manager must have good and accurate information, and not all hospital cleaning companies are going to make that available. That lack of clear pricing/service information can be the starting point of weeding out those hospital cleaning services that either don’t understand how to price their services accurately or simply don’t want you to make an informed decision. The best healthcare cleaning companies are committed to the highest level of professionalism and service and therefore, want you to understand where your money is going. Transparent pricing allows you to know what it is going to cost to get you and your facility the needed services. This in turn allows you to compare medical cleaning companies in a meaningful way. Likewise, clear medical cleaning pricing helps you hold your health care cleaning company accountable to the work they promised because you understand what that is.

 

Getting Solid Value From Your Medical Office Cleaning Services

When you are searching for medical janitorial services, value is paramount. And value, quality and effective healthcare cleaning services are not likely to come from the cheapest bid. And yet, they won’t necessarily come from the most expensive bid either. So how should you choose between competing hospital cleaning bids? Brian Mamo, Director of Business Development at Stathakis offers some insight:

  • Janitorial pricing can be all over the place-- well below cost, way above market and everything in between. This can be a function of inexperienced start-ups or future up charging.
  • When medical cleaning prices seem exceedingly low, ask yourself why. Excessively low prices are often an indication a company will play games with your pricing down the road or that they engage in illegal hiring in order to keep costs below that of the overall market.
  • Arm yourself with an understanding of how medical office cleaning prices are estimated. Check out this article for further information on how janitorial pricing works.
  • Consider references from trusted facility and building managers or even other reliable service contractors you work with. 
  • Don’t just ask any cleaning company for a bid on healthcare cleaning. It is simply too specialized and requires a company experienced in cleaning hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Only accept medical cleaning bids from established commercial cleaning companies that offer the experience and systems required to deliver on their promises to you.
  • Request references and follow up.
  • Compare apples to apples. Give prospective medical cleaning companies a standard service specification so you can look at pricing based upon the same services.

Follow these suggestions and you are far more likely to get real value from your hospital environmental services. Additionally, you are more likely to land a medical cleaning contractor that will deliver the level of services you require and compliance in a health care setting.

 

Does Your Healthcare Cleaning Service Provide Transparent Pricing?

Medical cleaning prices can be confusing but they don’t need to be. Some medical office cleaning services purposely price their services in a way that can make fair comparisons difficult for you as a Facility Manager. Likewise, many less experienced commercial cleaning companies will throw together a bid without really investing the needed time into understanding what you need and what the job requires. Other janitorial service companies just throw out a number and take out extras and fees later on if they guessed wrong. Maybe a prospective healthcare cleaning service just isn’t experienced enough in janitorial services in general and more specifically medical cleaning to know HOW to price the services you and your facility require. No matter why the nonspecific or confusing pricing, it can upend your carefully planned medical facilities budget, raise the cost and diminish the value of what you are getting.

  

With Medical Cleaning Services Best Value Follows Best Practices

So low cost doesn’t always translate into real value. Why is this the case? Remember, cost is what you pay and value is what you get. The objective in securing medical cleaning services should be to obtain the best clean for the best price. There are a number of best practices that are predictive of value and effective service. These consist of guaranteed responsiveness, the best people for the work, solid training to fit your facility’s unique requirements, a green cleaning program and more. It is probable that you can find superior medical janitorial services that fit both your budget and your needs.

 

Cheap Health Care Cleaning Services Can Cost You

A low priced medical cleaning bid can be tempting but that old adage of you get what you pay for usually holds water when it comes to super low pricing. Unusually low cleaning bids can point to red flags and potential problems like:

  • An inexperienced healthcare cleaning company that wants your facility to be their training ground.
    Overly low pricing can be a sign of illegal workers and/or illegal hiring practices.
  • Suspiciously low pricing may also indicate cut corners on things like employee drug and criminal background screening and training.
  • And super low pricing can signal a health care cleaning company that will over promise and under deliver. 

And that's not even all of them! There is some important math one must consider in operating profitable medical cleaning companies. If a prospective commercial cleaning company comes in with a very low bid, the chances are something is off somewhere either by accident, omission or by design.

 

Hospital Environmental Services Require a Very Special Set of Skills

Where health care services are concerned, medical cleaning matters a great deal. It isn’t just enough for things to look clean. There must be actual biological clean, infection control and compliance with any and all pertinent regulatory issues. This is in part why partnering with the right hospital cleaning company is so critical. When considering prospective medical janitorial services, it is prudent have an understanding of the size and types of businesses and industries a commercial cleaning company already serves in order to avoid inexperienced janitorial companies. Ask any prospective company what medical and health care accounts do they currently contract with? How is their training specified to the unique needs of healthcare facilities? How do they attract, screen and manage great people that are a good fit for your facility? What is their understanding of medical compliance issues? These direct questions can help you get a real sense of whether you are working with a seasoned company that can hit the ground running or whether you will have to micromanage your building services contractor to try to get what you need in your facility.

  

Getting Medical Janitorial Services That Offer Expertise AND Value

You, your facility and its occupants and visitors deserve medical cleaning services that offer effective, healthy cleaning at a real value. Even if you are facing tighter budgets and growing requirements, an experienced medical cleaning company can help secure the greatest value from your janitorial budget. When contemplating a new cleaning service, consider the following. Healthcare cleaning services that offer you clear pricing give you the opportunity to compare quotes in a meaningful way. Transparent pricing lets you look at pricing and janitorial bids in an ‘apples to apples’ way that can allow you to more accurately assess value. Choosing a reputable, professional, trusted medical cleaning service offers the best chance at both real value and the promises of effective service.

Medical Cleaning Outsourcing Guide

Tags: Cost Saving - Pricing, Hospital & Medical Cleaning, Janitorial Pricing

Stathakis Meet Our Team: Special Projects Manager Matt Brown

Posted by Christine Duquette on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 @ 11:57 AM

 

blue_made_in_michigan_stamp.jpgMatt Brown joined Stathakis in May as Special Projects Manager with a special focus on carpet cleaning and hard surface floor care. As CEO Chris Stathakis tells us, “we have so many accounts that partner with us for janitorial and regular cleaning services who really need our help getting their carpet and floor maintenance and other special projects on the maintenance schedule and in the budget. For us as a company, it is certainly an opportunity for growth. For our customers, it is an added benefit to have a go to guy like Matt with his two decades of expertise in flooring and carpet at their disposal and more expert services under the Stathakis umbrella.”

It's no surprise that Stathakis chose Matt Brown to head, develop and grow their Special Projects division. Matt has been immersed in the commercial carpet cleaning industry for over twenty years. As Matt tells us, “I started as a part-time carpet cleaner and I really liked it—the work, the people, learning the equipment and techniques to give customers the best result, it was rewarding in its own way. I worked full-time doing that for years before moving into a management role. I have spent the last eight years as a regional manager with over 100 employees at five different locations throughout Southern Michigan and Ohio.”

Having been on both sides, technician and manager, Matt has a broad perspective on doing his job. “I was on the technician side for many years so I understand some of the challenges and frustrations both in the field and within an organization. I’m also a supervisor and manager so I get to see the bigger picture on how our division feeds into and works in partnership with the other parts of the business. I think understanding both sides from a first hand perspective makes me more effective all around and helps assure we deliver the results our customers have come to expect.”

Brian Mamo agrees telling us, “We used Matt Brown as a subcontractor for years and he was always on his game-- on top of the job, on budget, on time and made the customers happy. Matt really knows his stuff, so when we were looking to expand our carpet and flooring capabilities in order to offer our customers more services under our umbrella, we needed the right person who could provide current customers and new customers the level of expertise, service and responsiveness we have always strived for. Matt was the first person we thought of and he has been an excellent addition to our team.”
 
Matt Brown brings with him more than two decades of experience, knowledge and expertise to our customers. As Matt tells us, “I know carpet cleaning so yes, I sell carpet cleaning services, but I’m not your average sales guy. I feel like it is my job to help Facility Managers understand how regular carpet maintenance can positively impact the overall health and image of their facility AND their bottom line. Some Facility Managers are responsible for the carpet but may lack the knowledge. I mean, when was the last time your average Facility Manager even had the time to look over their carpet warranty and maintenance recommendations? Budgets are often tight and carpet cleaning doesn’t always rank high. But prolonging the life of carpeting, a costly building asset, can add up to significant cost savings. I help customers and potential customers understand the numbers, the methods and what works and why-- and then it’s up to them.”

As Special Projects Manager, Matt wears many hats but when we asked him about the areas of his job he finds most gratifying he had this to say, “I love working with people, the technicians, the customers, all of them. I would say one of my favorite things is training others. I find it so satisfying to arm someone with the technical ability to feel the rewards of a job well done while at the same time delivering the kind of effective services that make our customers thrilled.” 

When asked about his philosophy with regard to his work he told us, “I never oversell something. It doesn’t serve any of us well to tell a Facility Manager that we can make his ten-year-old carpet look brand new. It’s just not worth getting the deal if the customer is left with a bad taste in their mouth and unhappy. I’m a Michigan guy, born and raised here, my customers aren’t just accounts or dollars, they are relationships that have served me well over the last twenty years and I work hard to earn and keep their trust. I under promise and I over deliver and I’m serious about business but I’m a lot of fun too.” 

20160503_211353.jpgWhen asked about what kind of things are in place at Stathakis to help support Matt and his team, he told us,” Stathakis isn’t like any other Building Services Contractor I have ever worked with. Sure, other cleaning companies try to put a bunch of services in under one umbrella, but Stathakis strives to be the best at each service not just add it on with little or no real expertise. The other main difference is we are armed with the best equipment, training, technology and such to really deliver on our promises to the customer. It is important to me that we do the things we say we will and here at Stathakis, we are given the resources to do just that. At Stathakis, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to be better, faster, more affordable, more responsive and that effort is in the service of our customers.”

Matt, the youngest of six children, was born and raised in Livonia and continues to live in the community with his wife of twenty-four years, Michelle and their fourteen year old daughter, Annaclare. Two rescue Pomeranians Dutchie and Bella share their home and keep them busy. In his time away from work, Matt likes working outside on his yard and other home projects. He is also involved in his daughter’s school and theater productions she participates in as well as volunteering at his church and with the Epilepsy Foundation.

 

At Stathakis, we provide you with commercial carpet cleaning solutions and carpet maintenance programs tailored to your facility and your budget. We use only state-of-the-art carpet cleaning technologies and offer a variety of demonstrated carpet cleaning methods including truck mounted carpet cleaning, portable machine carpet cleaning, low moisture carpet cleaning, dry carpet cleaning all geared at getting you a deep clean, improving carpet’s appearance, extending the life span of your carpet and improving overall indoor air quality. We offer both on-demand carpet cleaning and subscription based carpet cleaning programs that can net you real value and reduce the hassle of planning continued carpet maintenance. For more information on how you can keep your floors cleaner than they have ever been, please contact Matt Brown, Stathakis Special Projects Manager at #800-278-1884.

 

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Tags: Cleaning Industry Updates, Culture, Made In Michigan, Floor Care

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