From the August 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Integrating scientific measurement
Advances in technology make scientific measurement of bio-contaminant levels on surfaces fast and affordable. For example, EVS providers trained in proper hygienic cleaning use devices that can measure the amount of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) present on a surface. ATP is a compound found in all organic material. While an ATP device does not directly measure the presence of pathogens, it does indicate the amount of organic material present, which studies have shown to be directly correlated to the presence of illness-causing pathogens. Testing for this substance allows outsourced service providers to show verifiable proof of bio-contaminant reduction from their aseptic cleaning system.
Maintaining high standards
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Without proper training, janitorial and medical staff might not be meeting aseptic standards for surface cleaning. A skilled outsourced cleaning provider will use the right equipment including EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants; a strict system of color-coded microfiber technologies for surface cleaning; and multi-filtration HEPA vacuums that improve air quality and filter soil, allergens and pathogens to 0.3 microns.
Additionally, proper hygienic cleaning includes a blend of cleaning processes and effective surface disinfection, with particular attention to high-touch surfaces. Proper protocol standards include special focus on high-touch point cleaning of door handles, light switches, phones and keyboards that are key transmission points for germs.
Just like doctors and nurses at critical care centers follow and stay updated about the latest standards and best practices in their fields, a qualified outsourced cleaning service provider should take a similar stance in regard to following industry standards for hygienic cleaning, such as those published by the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses. Those standards are based on rigorous scientific study of germ and soil reduction related to specific cleaning practices in health care settings, including terminal clean procedures.
Finding the right partner
To locate the most qualified outsourced EVS partner for your facility, look for a service provider whose team is properly certified in environmental services procedures for health care facilities. By following industry aseptic cleaning standards, using advanced cleaning technologies and demonstrating measurable data for surface cleaning, the outsourced provider can be a partner in your efforts to reduce health care-acquired infections, thereby providing faster recovery times for your patients and an improved overall perception for quality of care for your facility.