Understanding Cleaning Quality: Keep Hospitals Clean Without Going Over Budget

by Lawton Brothers | Oct 08, 2019

Keeping your healthcare facility clean is an integral part of ensuring your patient’s safety, right? The cleanliness of your facility can decrease the amount of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), increase patient satisfaction and in the end, increase your revenue. 

Your environmental cleaning department is your front line of defense against HAIs. An excellent team can be the line between a good healthcare quality score and a bad one. 

At Lawton Brothers, we believe you can improve the quality of the cleanliness of your facility without going over budget. 

Our team at Lawton Brothers has read through the latest research to truly understand quality scores. Below, this article explains what we have found from that research, and why we believe cleanliness matters. 

CLEANING IS A PATIENT SAFETY ISSUE 

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 10 patients get an infection while receiving care. And, according to Cleaning Hospital Room Surfaces to Prevent Health Care-Associated Infections, in 2011, there were an estimated 721, 800 HAIs contracted in the United States, which led to 75,000 deaths. 

Rising medical costs and the fear of contracting HAIs during an extended hospital stay may deter patients from seeking medical treatment in a facility. 

Although they might not be aware of the exact standards of “quality cleaning,” the visual cleanliness of your facility plays a huge role in their perception of your organization. 

CLEANING YOUR HEALTHCARE FACILITY

There are five areas of cleanliness that healthcare facilities should think about:

  • Workforce

  • Area

  • Substance

  • Technique

  • Equipment

Workforce & Area

Your environmental cleaning department has the responsibility to organize, execute and verify the healthcare facility's cleaning activity. Currently, many healthcare facilities go by “hotel clean,” with the added layer of a disinfecting routine. Hotel clean includes:

  • Floors and baseboards are dust, stain and spill-free

  • Walls, doors and ceilings are dust-free

  • Furniture, window ledges, phones and carpets are dust-free

  • Bathroom facilities are dust and stain-free

  • Mirrors and windows are dust and streak-free

  • Water is disposed of

  • Furniture or items that are broken are replaced

During the room clean, environmental cleaning services should also ask themselves:

1. Are surfaces high touch or low touch?

2. What unit is this room on (conference room vs intensive care)?

3. What is the expected amount of body fluids that will come in contact with surfaces?

According to the Asia Pacific Society of Infection Control Guidelines for Environmental Cleaning and Decontamination, your environmental staff should have:

  • Adequate cleaning resources that are devoted to their department

  • Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting 

  • Education and continued training 

Unfortunately, even with an educated environmental cleaning department, if they aren’t using the right cleaning solution, it won’t matter. 

Substance, Technique and Equipment

For each type of surface that is contaminated, it seems like there is a different chemical solution that your team will need, including alcohol, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and many more. To read a full description of these cleaning surfaces, read our blog International Infection Prevention, here. 

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING YOUR FACILITY

Buying the cleaning supplies, equipment or education your healthcare facility and its employees will need can get expensive. But, what’s the cost associated with not investing in the cleanliness of your facility? Those costs could include:

  • Increased HAI outbreaks, which have an estimated $100 trillion cost globally by 2050

  • Increased deaths due to HAI outbreaks

  • Missed surgical revenue due to slow turnaround times

  • Increased patient-stay times

  • Decrease in revenue due to patients not returning after contracting an HAI

The upfront costs associated with investing in proper training and high-quality cleaning products will be beneficial in the long-run. 

We Can Help.

Unfortunately, you have a large healthcare facility that needs to be cleaned, but cleaning supplies and employee education can be expensive. At Lawton Brothers, we work with healthcare facilities for solutions that fall within their budget, including cleaning supplies, equipment management and employee training.

Our training programs include:

  • ISSA CMI - Cleaning Industry Training Standard Verified Courses

  • CMI General Courses: General Cleaning, Restroom, Customer Service and Safety & HazCom 

  • Workload, Bidding & Estimating Workshop

  • Green Cleaning for Health

  • OSHA Right to Know / GHS HazCom

  • Bloodborne Pathogens

  • Carpet Care 

  • Restroom Care 

  • Disinfecting & Sanitizing

  • Equipment Use & Care 

To talk with a customer representative about what we can do for your facility, give us a call: 800-432-0813 

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