Fall Flu Season is almost here! This means in additional to the well patient visits you normally have, patients coming in with cold and flu symptoms are sure to increase. It’s time to get even more stringent on cleaning, and hiring a healthcare cleaning service may be exactly the support you need for this increase in germs, and the need for thorough sanitation.
2019-2020 Flu Update from Center for Disease Control
Flu vaccines are updated annually to target the specific flu virus that are circulating. Because the virus changes and there are so many types, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) makes recommendations for vaccinations for everyone over 6 months old, and especially those with weaker immune systems such as the chronically ill and elderly. It is expected that vaccines will be provided to over 162 million patients this year in the United States. For more information about the 2019-2020 Flu Season, visit the CDC Website.
The Difference in Healthcare Cleaning and Standard Janitorial Service
Healthcare cleaning has challenges and precision that standard janitorial service doesn’t. In both cases, dusting, floor cleaning, trash removal and restroom sanitation are standard tasks. In healthcare cleaning, however, special training is required to prevent cross-contamination, safely deal with blood-borne pathogens, hazardous/medical waste handling, and infection control.
Healthcare cleaning standards must be followed in all medical or health related offices and include:
- Dental and Orthodontic
- Clinics and Urgent Care
- Physician Offices
- Outpatient Facilities and Surgery Centers
- Physical and Speech Therapy
- Hearing/ ENT
- Mental Health Facilities
- Medical Specialists
- Chiropractic Offices
- Pharmacies/ Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Dialysis Centers
- Cancer Treatment Facilities
- Medical Research Centers
These medical focused facilities require higher levels of cleaning and sanitation that standard offices, and therefore should use specially trained healthcare cleaning services, rather than janitorial companies without such focus. Meeting healthcare regulations, preventing liability and avoiding contamination are the goals of healthcare cleaning companies. Staff must understand patient confidentiality, proper disposal and correct use of chemicals for true sanitation.
What Healthcare Cleaning Companies Provide
Healthcare cleaning companies understand a surface clean will not be sufficient. Deep cleaning, including sanitizing every touchable surface – arms of chairs, handles/knobs, counters, sink handles – must be sanitized to prevent the spread of germs. While most medical facilities perform ongoing cleaning between patients, using proper procedures to avoid the spread of disease, a daily cleaning takes the next step to ensure cleanliness.
Record Keeping. Often, documentation of cleaning tasks is required to ensure and verify certain tasks have been handled in specific windows of time. Healthcare cleaning staff understand this requirement and will often use checklists and/or sign off sheets for record keeping purposes.
Quality Control. In addition to record keeping, healthcare cleaning companies have processes for quality control to make sure staff are performing at or above expected standards. Audits or inspections of work is completed by management when requested, or at irregular intervals to ensure quality.
Specialized Training. As mentioned, healthcare cleaning professionals receive additional training on the specific needs unique to medical and medical related space. This additional training includes understanding how to handle medical waste, proper sanitation with accurate concentrations and application of cleaners, avoiding cross-contamination, patient privacy and more. Additionally, cleaning staff working in medically related offices will be advised to potential hazards they may face and immunizations, personal protective equipment and additional safety hazards will be addressed.
Keeping Staff and Patients Healthy and Happy
Staff need to consistently report to work in order for the office to run smoothly. If steps aren’t taken to prevent the spread of illness, the ability to run the office effectively could be at risk. While hand-washing and covering one’s mouth are recommended, it is easy in a busy day to not think about how germs are being transferred. Keeping a clean office and patient space through the use of a daily deep clean by a healthcare cleaning company can proactively reduce the risk of the spread of disease.
Likewise, patients want to know they are safe, and won’t leave a medical facility sicker than they went in. Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI’s) are still found in alarming numbers, and patients are more savvy than ever about them. Some health care facilities are required to provide patients with disclosures on HAI’s, which can deter patients from coming to or returning to the facility, hurting revenue and reputation.
The healthcare cleaning service provider hired is therefore not simply responsible for infection control, but they can also impact the health and happiness of staff and patients, both in the short and long term. They are responsible for creating and maintaining a healthy, welcoming environment for patients that is sanitary and aids in health, not continued or increased sickness. This all leads to a better patient experience, better reviews/client satisfaction scores, and even a healthier bottom line.
Looking for professional healthcare cleaning services in Denver and the Front Range area? AAA Building Maintenance is here to help. Our highly trained employees understand the unique needs required for effective healthcare cleaning services. Proper cleaning products and processes are used to protect both patients and staff for a healthy flu and cold season. Whether you need a temporary or one-and-done cleaning, or regular, on-going cleaning, AAA Building Maintenance will provide you a quote that covers your needs. Call today to schedule your free building audit and quote for your specific needs at 303-716-2802.