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Terminal cleaning is a thorough environmental cleaning that controls the spread of infections. Norovirus, C. diff (Clostridium Difficile Colitis), MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aurea), and other hospital-acquired infections are a major concern in the healthcare industry. These secondary illnesses lower hospital scores and customer satisfaction. They also increase risks and liabilities.
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Each of these scenarios carries a significant cost to the healthcare provider and damage the provider’s reputation. When you consider all the variables of exposure such as the number of patients, severity of illness and environmental factors including airflow and surface exposure, infections are easy to spread. Infections cannot be detected by the naked eye and remediation is both laborious and expensive.
When does a third-party terminal clean make the most sense?
The answer to this depends on providers cleaning protocols, the regularly scheduled cleaning, and maintenance, the severity of the contamination and the level of care or exposure risk of the affected facility.
Most hospital cleaning staff are trained to handle routine and expected issues that can occur in a healthcare environment, but certain incidents may not be within their expertise, comfort zone or experience. When the situation seems questionable, there is no sense in taking a risk. It is time to call the experts.
A contamination can escape the initially affected area by any means. If the incident goes undetected for any period, the chances of increased contamination rise as time expands. Transient patients moving throughout a facility spread infection. HVAC systems can circulate contaminated air and even though the air pulled goes through heavy HEPA filtration, an infection can still find ways to translocate if not properly quarantined.
Reported Hospital Acquired Infections
HAIs are sometimes easier to trace than others. The moment a trend is detected, or if an isolated incident can be sourced, the source location should be terminally cleaned immediately. Often the coverage area for terminal clean can expand beyond the known source area to minimize risk, and the existing staff is insufficient to address all the prioritized areas in a timely manner. Bring in a third party who is trained in terminal cleaning that follows the same standard operating procedures of the facility to ensure consistent results.
Publicized Nosocomial Infection
The worst outcome of an HAI is to have it publicized; especially in the realm of social media. This does happen from time to time and it is a challenging situation to manage. One of the best things a healthcare organization can do is to bring in a professional third-party terminal cleaning company to assist with damage control in its publicity. Third party services demonstrate to the public that you take the HAI claim seriously and are doing everything necessary to prevent any further incidents. Give patients the peace of mind by going above and beyond your normal protocol to ensure their safety.