As bed turn rates decline, the summer months give environmental service departments time to recharge and prepare for the next flu season. To assist environmental services (ES) directors in developing their summer maintenance strategy, Cintas Corp. has issued a checklist of best practices for cleaning healthcare facilities in the summer:
1. Deep clean all soft surfaces, such as carpet, in clinical and non-clinical areas throughout the building. Use a carpet cleaning service that allows floors to dry quickly, limiting downtime and poor indoor air quality.
2. Deep clean all hard surfaces outside the building. This includes cement walkways leading into the hospital where chewing gum or stains may have developed. Stains and dirt outside the building may cause patients to question the cleanliness inside the building.
3. Deep clean all hard surfaces inside the building. Pay particular attention to areas between hard surfaces, such as grout lines, which can be breeding grounds for organic soils and bacteria.
4. Conduct training sessions to instruct ES workers on proper infection control and best practices for preventing cross contamination when cleaning patient rooms and high-risk areas.
5. Review the building matting program. Entryway mats are the first line of defense when preventing dirt from entering the building, so it is important mats are the right length and regularly cleaned.
6. Assess opportunities for environmental savings. Even if youre not using green chemicals, you can limit the environmental impact of your business by reducing the amount of water and energy consumed, which can reduce costs.
7. Review your microfiber program. Ensure microfiber is laundered at the correct temperatures to prevent deterioration and is compliant with OSHA standard 1910.1030. Educate staff regarding the dangers associated with cross-contamination.
"The summer months offer an ideal time for ES directors to deep clean and prepare for busier winter months," says Brent Schafer, vice president of healthcare at Cintas Corp. "It also serves as a great checkpoint for reviewing successful programs and making changes to improve processes and performance. This ensures healthcare facilities are fully prepared for the challenges that winter months present."