Prevention of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) has always been one of the biggest challenges for EVS departments. Despite all the measures taken, HAIs still affect about 722,000 U. S. hospital patients per year and are responsible for approximately 75,000 deaths. The total cost associated with five major HAIs is $9.8 billion annually.
A recent nationwide study by The American Journal of Infection Control indicates that one of the most common HAI diseases, NV-HAP (hospital-acquired pneumonia), is no longer ONLY associated with the elderly and the ICU. The research shows that patients 65 years and younger represent half of NV-HAP cases, and over 70% of all cases were acquired outside the intensive care units.
These numbers are very alarming!
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of HAI is to ensure that your housekeeping service provider is a strong and reliable partner for your day-to-day operations.
Below are five key things to discuss with your cleaning company to ensure that you are working towards the same goals:
- Proper Use of Hospital Disinfection and Sanitation Solutions
The healthcare industry has strict guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfection solutions. The service provider company should always guarantee that their staff members are using the right hospital-approved products and practicing the correct ways of utilizing them. For example, housekeepers should be familiar with the concept of “dwell time” and understand that the “kill time” of many disinfection products is not the same as “wet time.”
- Specialized Training for Housekeeping Staff
Having well-trained housekeeping staff with the latest compliance standards is key to effective performance. At Servicon, we developed a Compliance Training Program that covers subjects like EOC, JCAHO, HIPPA, Infection Control Prevention, Medical Waste Management, etc. The training ensures that all supervisors and workers know the latest compliance requirements and understand the nuances of their job.
- Use of the Innovative Technologies
Many new technologies evaluate the quality of cleaning. The Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) Testing is one of the most reputable systems in use. ATP is the energy molecule found in all living things, making it an ideal indicator when determining whether a surface is clean. The ATP systems are used to rapidly verify that surfaces in the healthcare facilities have been cleaned thoroughly. Another great tool to check the quality of cleaning is the use of black light technology.
- Engaged Personnel
It is important to remember that your housekeepers are on the front line with HAI. It is crucial that they not only have all the necessary tools to perform their job but they understand the impact they make at the hospital. The housekeeping staff should also receive competitive health benefits and pay to fully concentrate on performing their duties.
- Tracking Scores
Patient satisfaction scores are receiving increased attention each year. Many hospitals are forced to develop new ways to satisfy their patients. One of the important criteria in the HCAHP and other surveys is cleanliness. Establishing a proactive partnership with your service provider is the best way to ensure that you do not receive unpleasant surprises from your patient feedback. Completing recurring client satisfaction surveys allows you to review the performance of your housekeeping service provider and identify any red flags.
HAI prevention is an ongoing initiative that includes keeping your housekeeping team accountable for infection control at your hospital.
Contact us to learn how Servicon helps healthcare clients maintain infection control initiatives while lowering operating costs.
Our service offering includes:
- Linen and laundry management
- Regulatory compliance consulting
- Management only