Hospitals and medical facilities and the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists working within them are lauded as life-savers. Though these people and facilities deserve this recognition, there are others working alongside medical professionals who also deserve some kudos. Every day, janitorial services workers do their part to keep hospitals, medical facilities, and nursing homes, clean, sanitary, and safe, helping to save lives.
Cleaning restrooms and disinfecting equipment prevent the spread of bacteria, germs, and infections. According to a 2011 New York Times article, healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) represent a $30 to $40 billion price tag for the U.S. healthcare system. Imagine how much higher this expense would be if hospitals and other healthcare facilities did not have janitorial staff. The cost of human suffering and lives taken by HAIs is something that could never be quantified.
Most janitors working in healthcare facilities take pride in their jobs and are excellent at what they do. However, there is always room for improvement. Improving the cleanliness of a health care facility by just five percent can avoid preventable deaths and reduce HAIs by thousands each year. Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of cleaning processes is a very simple, low-cost way to do this.
A cleaning checklist is one aspect that can make any cleaning team more effective. Not only can it reduce the number of errors and prevent oversights, it can also improve the productivity of those tasked with cleaning a healthcare facility. A checklist may seem like a basic thing but many cleaning crews do not use it. The improvement in productivity and efficiency that may result from using a checklist makes medical facilities cleaner and safer and reduces the amount of avoidable infections, saving lives.
Even the process of creating a checklist can result in process improvements because thinking about how things are currently done may lead to ideas about better ways do to them. In addition, the checklist developer may discover that there are less expensive but equally effective cleaning products available. Not to mention that getting janitorial staff to follow a checklist increases consistency, which can improve efficiency and overall performance.
Regular review and adjustment of the checklist refines processes. It ensures that janitorial workers are operating in the most efficient and effective manner using the latest technology without overspending. This approach saves lives, making hospital and medical facility janitorial crews just as important as doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers.