Do you ever wonder if your in-house cleaning crew is doing enough to combat germs and infections? Are you looking for ways to save money and renew your focus on patient safety?
Every year, more than 1.5 million patients have to contend with a healthcare-acquired infection or HAI. The problem is that these illnesses aren’t confined to acute care hospitals. They can happen anywhere, including dialysis centers and walk-in urgent care facilities.
The solution is to find experienced cleaning crews that specialize in cleaning healthcare facilities. In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on preventing HAIs.
Benefits of Outsourcing Healthcare Cleaning
The most important reason to hire a specialized cleaning crew is to reduce HAIs. Airborne infections like norovirus can stay active for weeks on fabric chairs and hard surfaces. That threatens every patient who comes into your urgent care.
Bloodborne infections are also a concern for dialysis centers. They affect vulnerable patients and the staff who work with them.
In addition to lowering rates of infection, outsourcing your healthcare cleaning can help save money. You don’t have to pay full-time wages or healthcare costs for an outside cleaning crew.
You’re not responsible for ongoing training, and you can compare different cleaning plans to get the best deal.
Professional cleaning companies can also help you stay flexible. If you need fewer workers during a certain weekend or if you suddenly need a deep floor cleaning, you can contact your cleaning crew and get the coverage you need.
When you hire an experienced outside cleaning business, you’re also freeing up your staff to focus more on patient care. You should look for companies with a positive Better Business Bureau record and outstanding client testimonials.
Cleaner Duties and Responsibilities
Once you contract with a healthcare cleaning crew, the first thing they should do is a cleaning inspection. They should evaluate your urgent care’s cleanliness and safety. Then they can give you their plan for infection control.
The duties of a cleaner may vary slightly depending on the size of your facility, but here are some of the most common tasks you’ll need your team to cover.
In general, you should not have to provide floor buffers or chemicals to your crew. You may need to give them an area to store their equipment, however.
Experienced cleaning crews will use environmentally-friendly cleaning products to deep clean your floors.
They will also undergo continuous training and improvement to make sure they’re doing all they can to provide you with a safe environment.
Keep an eye on cleaning crews to make sure that they don’t unintentionally cross-contaminate patient waiting areas and treatment rooms. That might mean that they have to maintain two different sets of cleaning equipment.
Something to monitor regarding floor care is the use of mops. Cleaning crews should avoid using bulky fabric mops. Even if they regularly change their mop water, the potential for passing along infection is just too high.
A better choice would be to use disposable microfiber mop cloths that can get changed after each room. Talk to your cleaning company about their mopping procedures.
To combat airborne and bloodborne illnesses, your healthcare cleaning crew should always wear protective equipment. That means that they should always wear gloves to clean patient rooms and common areas.
If they’re cleaning a high-risk area, they should wear face masks as well.
Look for a crew that complies with OSHA regulations regarding hazardous chemicals and bloodborne pathogens.
Your cleaning company should clean doorknobs, handrails, kitchen and break rooms, and reception areas. Even if they don’t deep clean floors every day, they can make a weekly schedule to make sure they clean everything.
If you do laundry on-site, your cleaning crew should deep clean the washing machines and dryers on a regular basis. They should also clean your walls, cabinets, and even ceilings if possible.
Other important areas to clean include patient chairs, beds, and medical equipment. Cleaning crews should deep clean beds regularly. Just make sure that they clean the wheels and metal parts under the mattresses.
In healthcare facilities, any hard surface could be harboring a deadly illness.
Communication and Training
An experienced healthcare cleaner can work with doctors, nurses, and even patients. They should be polite, professional, and able to pause in the middle of cleaning a room if necessary.
They should also be extremely detail-oriented and organized. Cleaning crews should be trained to report on equipment malfunctions. For example, a nurse might set a rolling table on top of an oxygen tube, or a patient might need a nurse.
A seasoned cleaning team keeps an eye on all aspects of your urgent care facility, including your patients.
As you search for a cleaning company, look for one that is compliant with state and federal cleaning guidelines. In addition to OSHA compliance, they should follow Medicare regulations and the State Department of Health Services.
Again, you’re looking for a company with an impressive track record and good customer reviews.
If your urgent care facility has special cleaning needs, make sure that your crew is trained in the most up-to-date procedures.
How to Find Experienced Cleaning Crews
One of the best ways to find a professional cleaning crew is to ask your colleagues. Is there a particular company that they’ve been happy to work with in the past?
When you interview experienced cleaning crews, you can ask them for a demonstration of their cleaning procedures. If they don’t use green cleaning products, it’s best to go with another company.
We’ve been working with healthcare facilities for more than 25 years. We specialize in customized cleaning solutions. We use green cleaning products and hold our professional cleaners to rigorous standards.
If you’re ready to make your healthcare facility sparkle and shine, you can give us a call directly or contact us online for more information.
We’re excited to provide world-class service for urgent care centers across the country! We also service schools and businesses of all sizes!