Hospitals, healthcare facilities and medical clinics fill numerous and meaningful roles in people’s lives for both patients and families, but also providers and communities. Their reputations are integral to not only the future of the hospital itself, but for patients, providers, jobs, education, and also community outreach.
Not surprisingly, cleanliness is a key component to the well-being of these enterprises. It’s a significant element to the branding, reputation, and sustainability of them. Despite this fact, it can often be overlooked and underappreciated.
Why is Cleanliness Important to Healthcare Facilities?
When individuals find themselves in hospitals, healthcare facilities or medical clinics, it is often a transitional time in their lives. Beginnings and endings bring in patients and their families, and the experiences they have are consequential. Cleanliness corresponds to safety, health, patient satisfaction and credibility.
Important research from Press Ganey and Compass One Healthcare shows correlations between patients’ perceptions of room cleanliness and the risk of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Hospitals that scored high in cleanliness frequently had the lowest number of reported infections. Analogously, hospitals saw higher infection rates when patients reported lower cleanliness scores.
This is significant because it reveals that a patient’s perception of their environment is often accurate and acts as an indicator of the level of HAIs present, of the actual level of cleanliness that may not be visibly noticeable. It’s imperative for hospitals to frequently measure their state of cleanliness.
Hospital Cleanliness and Safety
When proper cleaning measures are implemented, the safety of everyone is enhanced thus reducing contagions, removing pathogens and dirt, limiting cross-contamination, and avoiding HAIs such as MRSA and C. Dif by helping to stop the spread of infection.
Of course, the cleanliness of healthcare facilities also reduces the spread of COVID-19. Safeguarding the health of employees, patients, and their families is of the utmost importance.
The Perception of Hospital Cleanliness
A patient’s assessment of cleanliness is a measure of the overall care and wellness of the hospital, and there is a direct correlation with the quality of care given. If patients and their families perceive a clean environment, they will leave with patient satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn leads to a positive recommendation that furthers the favorable reputation of the hospital.
In the climate of COVID-19, perceptions of cleanliness could actually cost hospitals as everyone’s awareness and sensitivities to it are now heightened. This awareness is here to stay, so a patient’s overall experience of hospital cleanliness has to be addressed through diligence and care. Hospital, healthcare facility and medical clinic branding have to address the situation as well.
How can Hospitals Improve Cleanliness?
A reputable cleaning service has clear protocols for cleaning practices. Effective cleaning agents, frequent deep cleaning, effective hand sanitizing, appropriate waste disposal, and sophisticated techniques for disinfecting together provide the service hospitals require.
Environmental hygiene is critical and requires expertise combined with a dedication to continuous improvement. Cleaning processes that combine advanced equipment and microfiber technologies dramatically decrease airborne dust, VOCs and bacteria. The result is a healthier setting for staff and patients. Happily, it also adds the benefit of being better for the environment.
Cleaning and Janitorial Staff
To provide the high level of service required for healthcare facilities, the importance of staffing cannot be underestimated. They have an extremely important role in determining the quality of care. To achieve proper hospital cleanliness consider these aspects of staff care and education:
- Monitor performance to reinforce accountability
- Show appreciation for the cleaning staff to boost morale
- Acknowledge that they are important parts of the departments they service
- Build them into the community and teach them how to be a part of it
- Make sure they understand the why and what of what they are doing
Professional cleaners should be knowledgeable about infection control and the safety and security regulatory compliances, with a focus on blood-borne pathogens. They must know about the special procedures for exam rooms, nurses stations, and utility rooms and understand the common problem areas as identified by healthcare professionals. Remember that their performance affects a hospital’s reputation and brand.
Commercial cleaning services must be on the cutting edge of science and technology and understand what’s going on with viruses and what’s new for cleaning solutions. Hospitals, healthcare facilities and medical clinics that want to stay relevant and pride themselves on their cleanliness must work with cleaning service organizations that understand and take pride in their ability to stay up to date with advancements in technology and procedures.
A Competitive Edge
Improving standards of cleanliness helps distinguish hospitals from their competition, as patients will not recommend a hospital if they feel at higher risk of infection. Cleanliness is an important improvement target for competing in a consumer-driven healthcare marketplace.
Working with an established and respected professional cleaning service benefits patients and their families, employees, and the larger community by revealing the hospital as a welcoming and safe place to be by keeping it clean and safe.
JaniTek’s healthcare cleaning process was created in compliance with CDC, JCAHO, and HIPAA standards. As such JaniTek Cleaning Solutions can properly provide specialized cleaning services that meet your facility’s compliance requirements.