Patient Satisfaction Is a Critical Component of Your Healthcare Facility’s Success
Perception can often become reality and in a healthcare setting, patient perceptions and overall satisfaction matter. There are a number of factors that patients use to assess a medical facility. Of course, staff and their care are paramount, but after that, the overall condition and cleanliness of the facility comes into play. Think about it, delivery of health services can be a messy business and patients and their families know that hospitals and clinics can quickly become places you are as likely to get sick as you are well if not kept clean.
“Hospitals and clinics can quickly become places you are as likely to get sick as you are well if not kept clean.”
How HCAHPS Surveys Work
The intent of the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) initiative was to provide a standardized way to measure patients' perspectives on hospital care. These standards make it far easier to measure quality across different institutions and help patients use this information to make choices about where they seek medical treatment. The main goals of the HCAHPS was to:
- Offer objective and meaningful comparisons between hospitals
- Offer incentives for hospitals to improve their quality of care.
- Enhance public accountability in health care through transparency
The HCAHPS survey covers nine key elements of patient perceptions including:
- communication with doctors
- communication with nurses
- responsiveness of hospital staff
- cleanliness of the hospital environment
- pain management
- communication about medicines
- discharge information
- quietness of the hospital environment
- transition of care
What Less than Clean Medical Facilities Communicate to Patients & Their Families
If you go into a mechanic’s garage to get your car worked on, you will feel better if you see parts well organized, a bin of clean towels, a row of clean cars ready to go and a small mess where today’s work is happening. And yet, if your mechanic is full of grease, the walls could have used a fresh coat of paint about five years back and the waiting room has more dust bunnies than customers, chances are you’ll still be back. That’s because your expectations of a clean environment in this kind of setting are different than a setting where you will receive medical care.
Medical care of any kind brings up feelings of vulnerability and risk, both real and imagined. Unkempt medical facilities can both actually make people sicker and escalate their fear or increase their perception of mismanagement. What could your facilities be saying? A less than clean medical facility:
- Gives off cues of indifference and uncaring.
- Sends a strong negative message about the quality of doctors and staff.
- Can make patients suspect normal complications were caused by improper care.
- Can irritate and agitate vulnerable patients and prolong recovery.
“Medical care of any kind brings up feelings of vulnerability and risk, both real and imagined. Unkempt medical facilities can both actually make people sicker and escalate their fear or increase their perception of mismanagement.”
If you want to stem patient dissatisfaction, stop turning a blind eye to all the areas of your medical facility that are being ignored. Maintenance and medical cleaning are critical to real safety and overall perception and your patients, staff and medical providers deserve an environment from which the best care can be provided.
If you are in and out of your facility, it can be easy to miss issues with your current medical office cleaning company. Not sure if your facility is in good shape? Try to experience your care the way that your patients do. Sit in exam rooms, visit the restrooms, take a look at patient rooms, waiting rooms and wherever your patients go. The reality is most healthcare consumers spend a good deal of time waiting and have nothing better to do than look around. They see the peeling paint in the exam room, the yellowing tape left behind from a sign pulled down, the unidentifiable liquid stain on the bathroom wall, the sticky table and the scary stained carpet.
“Not sure if your facility is in good shape? Try to experience your care the way that your patients do. Sit in exam rooms, visit the restrooms, take a look at patient rooms, waiting rooms and wherever your patients go.”
Finding a Medical Cleaning Company Up to the Job
Just like there is a range of healthcare providers, there is a range of medical cleaning companies. Most commercial cleaning companies will take your business but really, only a handful will deliver on their promises to you. And unlike some of the best doctors, the best healthcare cleaning companies won’t necessarily cost more. In fact, sometime the most professional, experienced healthcare cleaning companies cost less because they know how to accurately price their services and work with the budget you have to deliver critical services at a palatable cost. So how do you find the right medical office cleaning company or hospital janitorial service?
“Unlike some of the best doctors, the best healthcare cleaning companies won’t necessarily cost more.”
Much like medical board certification, the CIMS or Certified Industry Management Standard offers an industry certification to dedicated, professional cleaning and maintenance companies. This CIMS certification demonstrates a medical cleaning company’s commitment to their industry and show they meet the very highest standards set forth by the best of the best within their industry. CIMS is the Cleaning Industry Management Standard Certification and is among the most rigorous and difficult levels of certification offered. The CIMS standard includes:
- Quality Systems: A framework to ensure effective operations & continuous improvement
- Service Delivery: Processes & systems in place to deliver consistent, quality service
- Human Resources: Best practices for managing any service industry’s greatest asset—their people
- Health, Safety, & Environmental Stewardship: Ensuring regulatory compliance, workplace safety, and health and environmental management
- Management Commitment: Establishing our Mission, Vision, and Values and ensuring that the organization's continuity is secured.
When looking for a new healthcare cleaning company, you can utilize CIMS as a starting point to eliminate a lot of extra work. CIMS can be used to weed out companies that are just not fully committed to the work they do and help you develop a short list of the best of providers to then find the best fit for your facility.