We know that our primary purpose is cleaning. We train our staff to recognize dirt and soil in so many forms and to remove it. We educate, coach and celebrate our successes. We also know that good strategies for combating infection and cross contamination include things such as hand washing and personal protective equipment. In fact recent studies point more often to poor hand washing practices then the environment as the primary cause of hospital acquired infections.
We in Environmental Services understand the importance of hand washing as well as the importance of a clean environment. No matter how well hospital employees adhere to hand washing policies we simply cannot keep pathogens out. Without a top quality training program focused on cleaning and disinfecting the environment, infections will continue to be a problem; germs must be killed wherever they exist within the hospital environment.
I teach my staff to focus on cleaning. Our primary purpose is cleaning, and we never stop and say good enough. We clean and disinfect so that our surfaces not only look clean, they are free of contamination also. I work closely with our infection control department to track results and the partnership has helped to develop best practices that have proven very successful.
When you think about your role in healthcare, remember that without a healthy environment, patients will get sicker, and ultimately, go somewhere else for their healthcare. Support you facility with excellent cleaning, a team relationship with your infection control department as well as your staff. And don’t ever lose focus on cleaning for success.