Foundation and Principles of Environmental Services

Cleaning and maintaining the built environment of a healthcare facility, or a building where healthcare services are delivered is driven largely by regulations and guidelines. These include regulations set forth by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), The Joint Commission (TJC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), state and local agencies such as state health departments, and guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other organizations providing guidelines include the Association for periOperative Nursing (AORN) for the operating room setting, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) and the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES).

A standard of cleanliness must be created and taught.  You will find, as long as you remain in environmental services, that you will constantly learn new methods, procedures and requirements as this is dynamic and evolving occupation.

The standards of cleanliness must include protocols for consistent cleaning and disinfecting of all high touch areas and surfaces. Areas in need of less frequent cleaning because they are not a likely source of contamination should be identified and steps needed for cleaning various rooms must be identified and explained.

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