Of all the working environments, hospitals, nursing homes and living assisted facilities are at the top of the list. These facilities demand the highest standard of clean and must be maintained to ensure the health of patients, doctors, nurses and workers.
All of these variables in make it significantly more challenging for the facility manager to keep clean consistently. Now compound that with poor quality cleaning and you have a disaster waiting to happen.
Maintaining cleaning standards for these facilities can be challenging because of tightening budgets and constant demands for more to be done daily. These daily demands are passed down to your in-house cleaning staff and cleaning contractors. Often they are asked to do more with lighter crews, limited equipment and less time.
Let’s take a closer look at how this affects nursing homes, hospitals and living assisted facilities.
One of the concerning statistics in The United States is the lack of exemplary cleaning has produced a high number of (HAI) hospital-acquired infection outbreaks. An HAI is an infection contracted by a person that entered the hospital for a different treatment. Two of the worst types of infection are C. Difficile and MRSA. These two have tremendous defenses against drugs and are very difficult to treat.
Traditional work that is tasked for your cleaning crew are those common areas like your floors. Those are great for appearances, but they don’t address the high touch areas that matter most. Those high touch areas are called “hot spots”. Most “hot spots” are door handles, countertops, stairway banisters and different types of medical equipment that are used every day. These surfaces are often not cleaned daily and can be dirtier than the floor you walk on.
Fixing An Industry-Wide Problem
Many hospitals have found housekeeping an easy means of budget cutting, leaving housekeepers to simply dump the trash and move on to the next room,” reported a 2012 survey of environmental services managers by UMF Corp., which develops and manufactures textiles for the commercial cleaning infection prevention markets.
Perfectclean.com found that most housekeeping departments are short by five to nine full-time employees despite medical facilities constantly expanding. These expanding services are not keeping up with the demand of protecting and preventing HAIs. These expansions also increase patient admissions and shorter length of stays, which in turn creates a greater room turnover.
In the past decade, there have been about 4.5 HAIs for every 100 hospital admissions in the United States.
HAIs may be an industry problem, but it can be fixed. One of the many solutions that medical facilities have adopted is hand washing instead of hand sanitizer. Yes, hand sanitizer kills germs, but it doesn’t clean and disinfects as well as traditional hand washing. There are many other solutions that medical facilities are implementing to stop HAIs.
What can you do about it?
One of the first lines of defense against HAIs is education. Here is a great link to the CDC that’ll give you a tremendous amount of information about HAIs and how to create a whole plan for HAIs.
The next step is to create a cleaning plan for your facility. Your plan should cover every aspect of cleaning from the day to day to monthly, quarterly and yearly cleanings.
After that, do a complete assessment of your cleaning capabilities and shortfalls. Recognize that you may not be able to do everything.
At Upper Valley Cleaning we work with many medical facilities throughout the area. We fully understand how important it is to keep your facility clean and protect you, your staff and patients from acquiring a HAI.