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Benefits of outsourced cleaning for critical care facilities

August 01, 2011
By Peter Sheldon
From the August 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

By Peter Sheldon

This report originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of DOTmed Business News

With the ever-growing risk of multi-drug resistant organisms, proper surface cleaning and disinfection are becoming more important. Critical care facilities need to implement aseptic cleaning processes that focus on measurable pathogen reduction. Many in-house cleaning staff may not have the right tools or training required to perform proper aseptic cleaning. Hiring a qualified outsourced firm may provide substantial benefits to care centers that want to reduce the impact surfaces have on infection rates for patients, and help decrease the threat of illness to staff and visitors.

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The challenge of a hospital environment
The challenge for critical care facilities such as ambulatory surgery centers is to reduce pathogens and soils through a process that is scientifically measurable. Meeting this goal can only be achieved by following the proper aseptic cleaning standards and using the most advanced tools and processes to go beyond surface cleaning to kill and remove organisms.

Introducing a proper hygienic cleaning system can result in benefits that include reduced illness and infection rates among patients and staff. Research also indicates that many organisms may survive on surfaces for an extended period of time. Rather than contribute to the spread of illness-causing germs through cross-contamination caused by improper cleaning, trained hygienic service providers use tools and processes that remove soils and pathogens for effective surface disinfection.

Providing a better environment of care
For administrators at critical care facilities, any change to internal procedures begs the questions “will this save us money?” and “is it better for the patients?” With a properly trained hygienic outsourced cleaning provider, the answer may conveniently be “both.”

One benefit of using an outsourced provider is that the cost for specialized EVS training is spread across multiple clients, allowing them to reach a high-level of proficiency without great expense for the facility. Critical care facilities can get a cleaner and healthier facility at a more attractive price as the outsourced provider continues to improve cleaning efficiencies. Using new techniques, the outsourced provider may, for example, be able to clean a restroom in less time using spray-and-vac systems. These advanced processes can deliver efficiency and effectiveness supported by scientifically measurable results. Outsourced providers with the proper systems and training should be able to show a reduction in biological contamination present on surfaces before and immediately after cleaning.

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