CHICAGO -- The board of directors for the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES), following their annual meeting, have adopted a position on green cleaning -- environmentally friendly cleaning products and technologies - to help guide healthcare facilities as they apply green cleaning to their cleaning practices.
ASHES supports cleaning procedures that are friendly to the environment, but warns against blanket support of the concept without empirical research that it provides an equal or better level of care than current practices. ASHES mission has always been to ensure a clean and safe health care environment while also setting the standard for environmental excellence. The organizations position urges facilities to ensure that the procedures in place are clinically proven, best practices for the safety of the patient.
With a primary emphasis on healthcare infection prevention, patient and worker safety and sustainability of the environment, the ASHES supports the concept of cleaning for health and hygiene first and cautions against quick adoption of green cleaning for the sake of being green. Research supports that simple practices such as hand washing and increasing the frequency of disinfecting high-touch areas will help provide a safer environment for patients, staff and visitors. Currently, there is insufficient research related to the efficacy of all green cleaning in healthcare settings and how or if green cleaning breaks the chain of infection. ASHES will continue to actively seek opportunities to collaborate with other health care entities, vendors and the scientific community to seek collaborative approaches to ensure patient, staff, and visitor safety.