One look at the day’s headlines can be enough to make you as a Facilities Manager think twice about your medical cleaning. Whether it's Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), the Ebola virus or even simply the onset of peak flu and cold season, one thing is clear, healthcare cleaning matters. Good thorough cleaning is important anywhere, but nowhere does it matter more than in a hospital, clinic or other health care setting. So is your medical cleaning company doing enough to keep your facilities in their best condition and safeguard the health of patients, staff and anyone who enters your facility?
Why Health Care Cleaning Is So Vital
In a hospital clinic or other healthcare setting, you have multiple factors at play. First, you have a higher percentage of sick people including people with infectious diseases. More people with infectious diseases means a greater likelihood of a higher germ load in your facility. Second, often in a healthcare setting you have patients who might be free from spreadable infectious diseases themselves, but infirm or more susceptible to any germs, microbe, bacteria or viruses they come into contact with. Third, with any medical facility there is an expectation of cleanliness that goes well above what people would expect from a general retail or office setting. You go to the hospital or clinic for treatment, not to leave sicker than you came. When a healthcare facility or medical office looks dirty, it casts doubt on the professionalism and quality of this staff, practitioners and treatments.
Healthcare Cleaning Requires a Level Of Knowledge and Care That Can Be Hard To Find
If you think cleaning is about little more than scrubbing the toilets and wiping off the counters, you're wrong. Cleaning in general requires the right information to do the best job but medical cleaning requires even more. Whether you have healthcare offices, a hospital, a clinic or other medical facility, a well-trained medical cleaning company can protect you your staff and clinicians your patients and your reputation. What do the best healthcare cleaning companies do different from the rest? Adequate and better than adequate medical cleaning comes down to:
- Quality overall training
- Specific training in medical related issues like Blood Borne Pathogens, HIPPA and more
- Product training on hazards, dwell times and more to insure safe, effective disinfection & cleaning
- A solid understanding of all compliance issues & OSHA requirements
- A transparent and easy to understand management and communication structure to make sure new information can get to the right people quickly
- A responsive management team to insure consistent, responsive service
Unfortunately, not every cleaning company is set up to be able to offer satisfactory medical cleaning. Unfortunately, this does not always stop them from trying to secure your business. It is your responsibility as a Facilities Manager to do your due diligence to determine if your current healthcare cleaning company or prospective medical cleaning company is up to the job of caring for and maintaining your healthcare facility.
How Do You Find a Medical Janitorial Service Able & Ready to Clean in a Healthcare Setting?
Perhaps you understand how critical it is that you contract with a commercial cleaning service that really understands the ins and outs of medical cleaning but you are just clear on how to go about doing that. Finding a cleaning company that can maintain your healthcare facilities shouldn’t be nearly impossible. And it certainly doesn’t make it any easier given the fact that far too many janitorial companies will say almost anything to get your business even if they aren’t sure that they can keep your business. As a Facilities Manager, how do you separate the empty sales pitch from the real deal and identify those healthcare cleaning companies that are reputable, experienced, professional and up to the job of keeping your medical facilities and health care offices in a healthy state?
Do Your Homework Upfront & You Can Save Time & Money Down the Road
First, ask a prospective cleaning company to put their money where there mouth is. In other words, they should be able to show you not just tell you about the elements of their business that will be critical to a successful partnership. So if they tell you they offer employees great training, asked to see it. If they tell you they will do everything you need, ask that they detail the work that will be done in a clear and transparent way so that you can compare multiple quotes and understand precisely what you are being offered. If they tell you they have a great reputation as a medical cleaner, ask for references and then called them. Good service means good systems and the right medical cleaning service will likely have a system for everything from employee recruitment, screening and training to handling a service issue. So ask them about their systems. Any cleaning company that is equipped to handle medical cleaning will will be more than happy to show you, not just tell you what makes them capable of maintaining your health care facilities.
Does Professional Certification Lead to Better Cleaning From Your Cleaning Company?
The short answer is yes, professional certification leads to better cleaning from your cleaning company. The reason is this, industry certification like the CIMS or Cleaning Industry Management Standard requires that a cleaning company prove that they are among the best in the business. Much like physicians have board certification to signify special training and a higher proficiency or expert status, health care cleaning companies have industry certifications to designate special knowledge and demonstration of industry best practices.
CIMS certification can be an indispensable resource for any Facility Manager looking for a healthcare cleaning company capable of delivering a high level of service. You wouldn’t want just anyone caring for your body and you shouldn’t leave the care of your facilities or reputation to just anyone either. CIMS certification is a difficult and involved process that mandates that a cleaning company demonstrate proficiencies in a variety of areas that directly impact you the customer. CIMS certification insures that you are partnering with a reputable, dedicated, professional commercial janitorial company committed to fostering a long-term partnership with you.
Don’t Be Content With Medical Cleaning That is DOA
If you feel like your medical cleaning company isn’t doing enough to safeguard the health of your patients and staff and the overall perception of your facility, it’s likely time to look elsewhere. Your reputation and the reputation of your facilities and medical professionals are far too critical to risk. While finding them might be challenging, there are some excellent medical cleaning companies that will work hard to get and keep your business. They understand the special requirements inherent in medical cleaning and they have made your business their business so that they are as well versed and up to date on compliance and safety issues as you are. Work hard upfront to find the right fit in a commercial cleaning company and you can count on a clan bill of health for your healthcare facilities.