Outsourced green janitorial services address several critical factors required for hospitals to adhere to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) roadmap to reduce the number of Hospital-Associated Infections (HAI).
Outsourcing Green Janitorial Services to Eliminate Hospital-Associated Infections
In 2009, HHS introduced its roadmap to reduce the instance of HAI in hospitals throughout the U.S.
While California hospitals have reported significant reductions in cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs), there was a significant spike in reported instances of Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) for Colon Surgery, as well a C. difficile infections, from 2013 to 2014.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
SSI: Colon Surgery
- California hospitals reported a significant increase in SSIs related to colon surgery between 2013 and 2014.
- Among the 210 hospitals in California with enough data to calculate a...[Standardized Infection
Ratio]...SIR, 10% had an SIR significantly higher (worse) than 0.98, the value of the national SIR.
C. difficile Infections
- California hospitals reported a significant increase in C. difficile infections between 2013 and 2014.
- Among the 334 hospitals in California with enough data to calculate an SIR, 25% had an SIR significantly higher (worse) than 0.92, the value of the national SIR.
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Outsourced green janitorial services take on three challenges medical facilities face in eliminating instances of infection acquired as a direct result of negligence in sanitation or protective practices within the healthcare industry.
- Maintaining Cleanliness.
- Supporting Infection Control, and;
- Protecting Workers and the Environment.
To function effectively in a healthcare environment, a sanitizer must eliminate infectious bacteria in a minimal timeframe.
Where, in the past, conventional cleaners covered bacteria and required a specific number of minutes to kill germs, modern green cleaners break down the biofilm of the microbe and destroy it in as little as three to five minutes, making it more ideal for use in busy hospitals.
Products intended to disinfect against certain infections can require 10 minutes of dwell time to be effective; that often isn’t practical for a health care setting, according to the CDC, which advises using a U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered disinfectant with a shortened contact time of one to three minutes, if possible.
Switching to microfiber cloths and mops has been shown, time and again, as a cost-effective solution for healthier and more efficient sanitation.
Supporting Infection Control
Infections are just a part of the working healthcare environment.
Unfortunately, not enough has been done to stop the spread of germs and the unnecessary infection of patients.
One of the critical issues is hand health; specifically, hand washing, with the CDC reporting an estimated 48% compliance rate in 2000.
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Adding to the complexity of hand sanitation is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) ban on several chemicals used in anti-bacterial soap.
Another challenge is the purchasing and management of glove types, required for specific levels of interaction with patients; more specifically;
- Sterile gloves should be worn during any surgical procedure.
- Clinical gloves should be worn when there is any possibility of the physician or nurse coming in contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
Additionally, all effort should be made to eliminate the reuse of gloves for any reason.
For More Information:
- World Health Organization - Glove Use Information Leaflet
These challenges can be met cost-effectively by outsourcing aspects of your facilities management to a professional janitorial provider with experience in the medical field.
Other areas of concern are high-touch points, which represent one of the single most significant challenges to sanitation in any environment, especially healthcare.
These areas will include;
- Computer equipment.
- Water coolers.
- Coffee pots.
- Light switches, and;
- Door handles.
In standard working environments, these areas need to be sterilized on a weekly basis.
For hospitals, depending on the workload and traffic, it is advisable to clean them, at least, daily.
Outsourcing your facilities management and janitorial services to the same provider will ensure that these tasks are handled promptly and regularly.
Protecting Workers and the Environment
The primary motivation for any organization to switch to green janitorial services should be the health and safety of the building's occupants, be they patients, guests, or staff.
Unfortunately, training and certifying cleaning staff on new equipment that requires new procedures take time and money.
Further, qualified purchasing decisions and vendor vetting and management increase the amount of time to full program adoption and delay the implementation of much-needed updates in policies and procedures.
Purchasing guidelines must adhere to CDC, EPA, and WHO (to name a few) requirements to avoid negatively impacting indoor air quality or doctor and patient health.
The cleaning products must efficiently disinfect highly contaminated surfaces as quickly as possible without leaving behind toxic film or residue that can complicate surgeries or seriously harm a patient with a weakened immune system.
Additionally, modern healthcare practitioners understand that personal health is a product of our environment, as well as other factors, so maintaining a healthy eco-system should be a paramount concern for organizations promoting healthier lifestyles.
According to the National Institutes of Health;
Environmental hazards may deplete or disrupt natural biophysical processes that are the basic source of sustained good health.
These basic systems include the food production system, the vector borne disease routes, global hydrological cycles, and the stratosphere.
While California has met or exceeded national goals for reducing instances of HAI in local hospitals, much more work remains primarily in the containment and control of C.diff and SSI.
These challenges can be met, in large part, by outsourcing your healthcare operations cleaning and facilities maintenance services to an experienced janitorial provider.
This will allow for thorough but safer sterilization of high touch and contaminated surfaces at a cost-effective rate that will ease the challenges and shorten the time-frame to full program adoption.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of green janitorial services for your healthcare facility, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790