Health Care Facilities Should Be Places Of Health & Healing, Not Getting Sicker
The future of healthcare changes by the minute with technology informing nearly everything from the top down. Medical and hospital cleaning has become more critical as concerns about cleanliness, infection and patient satisfaction come to the forefront. Your commercial cleaning company has a direct role in patient safety, satisfaction and even HCAHPS scores. Healthcare Associated Infections have long been a concern in medical facilities but with practitioners seeing increasingly higher volumes of patients, managing rates of infection transmission are even more important. Whether you manage a hospital, clinic, surgical center, or any other healthcare facility, you want to be seen as a place to receive care and get well and not a place to get sicker.
Medical Cleaning Requires A Specialist
In order to effectively tackle the newest strains of disease that find their way into medical facilities, your commercial cleaning company must be up to the job. Just because a janitorial company wants your business does not mean they are worthy of it. Just like many medical specialties, healthcare cleaning requires a higher level of training, knowledge and experience. Just because a company has been moderately successful in general office cleaning does not mean they are prepared for the responsibility and requirements of medical office cleaning. when searching for your next healthcare cleaning company, don’t consider any company that has not done their due diligence and pursued training and systems to serve the medical cleaning requirements of area hospitals, clinics, ambulatory centers and even medical facility offices.
Medical Cleaning Requires More Than a Bucket & Mop
Healthcare cleaning services comes with its own unique requirements, risks, compliance issues and safety concerns. If your prospective commercial cleaning company isn’t fully in tune and up to speed with the requirements of health care cleaning, they are putting you, your patients, staff and even their employees at risk. Medicine has evolved tremendously over the last decade and with it, a number of services connected to medical care have continued to be professionalized. Healthcare-associated infections impact nearly 2 million people each year, with as many as a third of the reported cases being preventable with recommended infection control procedures in place. Add to that a virulent and raging flu season with heightened, severe complications and you can see how important the health and cleanliness of your medical facility is. When you contract with a generalist instead of a medical cleaning specialist, you run the risk of getting little more than a cursory cleaning that not only looks less than inviting, can actually make people sick. Certainly common illnesses like colds, flus and respiratory illnesses can spread in any facility where cleaning for health is not taken seriously, but in a medical setting, the risks and complications are profoundly more serious, even catastrophic.
Compliance Is Critical In in Healthcare & Hospital Cleaning
Healthcare and hospital cleaning are an integral part of a healthy environment but perception and reputation are no less important. The Hospital Consumer Assessments of "Healthcare Providers and Systems” survey, or, HCAHPS has become an important tool for measuring patient satisfaction as well as reducing reimbursements for those health care facilities not meeting consumer expectations. On the HCAHPS survey, the cleanliness of the medical setting gets serious consideration. Between HIPPA, HCAHPS, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration), CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations, AORN (Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses) recommendations, Blood Borne Pathogen training and other healthcare cleaning requirements, your medical cleaning company must understand what you are up against and how to help support you with their own efforts and contributions toward a clean, healthy and well maintained facility.
Medical Cleaning Requires More Knowledge & Higher Standards
Do prospective medical office cleaning companies understand the difference between clean, aseptic and sterile? Do they understand the differences, differing applications and required procedures with the various products used to clean your facility like disinfectants, sanitizers, detergents, virucides and more? Aseptic cleaning is used in various clinical settings to prevent the spread of pathogens that can spread dangerous infections. In a hospital, clinic, medical offices or other healthcare setting, cleaning teams require specific training in medical cleaning in order to effectually clean your facility. Healthcare cleaning personnel must 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. Similarly, your commercial cleaning company must use appropriate EPA-approved, hospital-grade cleaning and disinfectant products wherever required including surfaces and touch points that are likely to be become contaminated. Furthermore, terminal cleaning is an important part of the infection control process minimizing the spread of infection-causing pathogens that can heighten the risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs). Terminal cleaning is employed to immediately lower the microorganism load on high-touch areas like remote controls, light switches, telephones, door handles, tables, computer terminals, rails and other frequently handled items and surfaces. There is concrete science behind effective medical cleaning. Is your prospective healthcare cleaning company aware of it?
Do Your Medical Janitorial Services Have Their Eye On the Future?
In order to serve you and your facility most effectively, your medical cleaning company must have their eye on the future. Professional industry certifications like the CIMS, or Cleaning Industry Management Standard, can be a good way for you as a Facility Manager to create your short list of prospective commercial cleaning companies, secure in the knowledge that CIMS Certified cleaning companies are significantly more likely to be prepared to meet the unique needs of your individual facility. Much like healthcare professionals have certification to designate special training in specific clinical areas, commercial cleaning companies can achieve CIMS certification certifying their mastery in specific, critical areas of their business. CIMS certification shows a sincere commitment to going above and beyond the basics with an adherence to industry best practices, innovation, training and responsiveness to the customers. CIMS certification provides valuable, free feedback to help Facility Managers just like you weed out the many cleaning companies in the crowded janitorial marketplace that are simply not resourced and set up to effectively clean and maintain your facility. With certifications like CIMS and evidence-based analysis of a cleaning companies commitment to industry best practices and understanding the specific issues inherent in medical cleaning, you can find a company ready and willing to deliver the services your healthcare facility deserves.