Cleaning health facilities will test your processes

Mark Jones looks at the considerations to get cleaning teams and processes up to speed when cleaning health and aged care facilities

Health and aged care facilities require the upmost in reporting and accountability. Mark Jones* look at some of the considerations to get your team and your processes up to speed.

To clean consistently you need consistent cleaners. And consistent cleaners are not born, they are created. Created through constant and thorough training, clear instruction for each facility and objective feedback on their performance.

When your staff go into the field to clean a healthcare facility there is a lot at stake. These facilities are complex and many operate constantly. They are also quite varied from aged care, suburban medical centres, high grade hospitals, doctor and dental surgeries to state-of-the-art laboratories.

It is a tall order to send a team into these varied environments daily. Many of these facilities operate 24/7 and most demand precision work and completion of duties at specific times. Not to mention the demand for truly hygienic outcomes.

All these factors place extreme demands on your teams. Are you ready to pitch for and win work of this standard? Let’s look at some of the considerations to get your team and your processes up to speed.

Provide a management platform

Any facility that is used to care for people is going to require the utmost in reporting and accountability. Most healthcare premises will need you to demonstrate an ability to track workers on site, schedule regular and irregular duties and ensure staff are maintaining their rostered schedules to keep in sync with the rest of the facility’s activities.

Go beyond mere hygiene factors

Much of the cleaning commentary about healthcare focuses on hand and equipment hygiene. This is essential for the health of your own team as well as the patients and staff of the facility.

And no one can say this is not important. It is essential for cleaning performance to meet KPIs and to deliver a thorough clean, but to do an outstanding job it really is, well, a hygiene factor.

We need to surpass mere hygiene to deliver in this complex and dynamic environment. You need to coach your staff to be not only proficient cleaners but empowered to adjust their routine based on what is occurring around them.

Live monitoring for a human touch

Just because the schedule says to clean a certain area at a certain time, does not mean you push on if there is a grieving family or a major emergency unfolding. But if the schedule changes you need to know it has changed and why.

You need to have live monitoring to the team in the field and the ability for two-way communication. This allows you to capture data on how long activities require and also identify any periods of the day or night that certain duties can’t be completed efficiently. Having this information in hard data is empowering when discussing options with your client.

Become part of the broader team

Staff in healthcare need to be professional enough at their core duties to have capacity to sensitivity, compassion and empathy to work their duties in with what is happening around them.

Health care facilities are genuinely challenging as no one party can operate independent of the others. From simply not getting in the way of service to ensuring the health of a patient or resident is not compromised from your teams’ actions.

Providing opportunities for review meetings with other parties on site is a great way to get direct feedback on your own team’s interactions as well as suggest improvements to help you get your work done efficiently and be recognised for the extra care and attention you instill in your staff.

Training is key

As long as you team are well trained in general cleaning activities then being able to coach and train them through your management platforms is invaluable. It might be a simple reminder to maintain equipment or it might be specific details on a key area of the facility.

Not only can you avoid tasks being forgotten, but you ensure they are done just as the client or the company demands in order to ensure the outcomes you have committed to.

Let’s take the pulse of your team

Give yourself a health check, do you have a management platform, do you empower your staff to adjust their routine as needed, do you have live monitoring, are you part of the broader team and are your team able to access training in the field?

*Mark Jones is a director of various digital technology business, including, an operations software service purpose built for cleaning companies to manage every aspect of their team working in the field. 

Learn more about features to assist healthcare facility cleaning here:

This first appeared in the May/June issue of INCLEAN magazine. To subscribe, click here. 

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