Keeping a hospital, clinic, or any other healthcare facility clean is about more than providing patients with a healthy recovery and treatment environment. Patient satisfaction and the facilities rating depend heavily on how neat and germ-free the premises are. There are metrics in a place like the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) as well as the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), which have several specific questions about cleanliness.
Based on a hospital’s scores on these parameters, their effectiveness of healthcare, patient retention rates, as well as reimbursement amounts are determined. Low scores can give the facility a bad reputation and drive patients away from it. Here are a few ways to ensure that a healthcare facility can amass top rankings in terms of cleanliness:
1. Declutter and organize
Hospitals have loads of patient files, test report documents, and bills piled in various areas, especially the reception, which is the first place a person sees when they enter a facility. They say that first impressions are usually the last, and if the first impression isn’t right, it can drive perceptions in the wrong direction. Organizing various documents, supplies, and equipment is a fundamental step in ensuring a facility looks clean.
There are a lot of top-of-the-line solutions that can help a facility declutter and organize its premises. For example, Innerspace medical equipment like storage cabinets and shelves can be quite useful in organizing medical paperwork, files, and supplies and significantly impact cleanliness. Hospitals and clinics can utilize this custom equipment to not just organize files constantly, but also store other items in their places when not in use. This basic step can make a lot of difference to the holistic picture.
2. The floors deserve the most attention
Let’s admit one thing from the start. When it comes to healthcare facilities, floors can become quite filthy. The floors are bound to sustain damage from heavy footfall and various heavy equipment being dragged.
Hospital administration should regularly ask janitors to vacuum carpeted areas, paying close attention to any dirt or debris that patients may have brought in and even the staff as they walk in through the main entrance. Keep garbage and spills off of hard floors. Body fluids need to be contained right away for safety reasons and because your patients don’t want to see the mess. Keep equipment and debris from shoe soles in check for spotless surfaces patients will love.
3. Build a waiting room and reception that are welcoming
It all goes back to that ‘first impression’. You may be managing a healthcare facility that provides treatment to patients, but it is crucial to note that cleanliness has a major role to play here too. Dirty premises are safe havens for germs, which defeats the purpose of providing healthy environments for patients and even leaves them and their attendees at risk of re-infection. This is the main reason hospitals and clinics must also focus on their aesthetics.
Patient waiting rooms and reception areas need to be cleaned in order to meet health and safety standards, but at the same time, they should also offer a welcoming appearance to provide comfort for those walking in. Not only does this put the patient’s mind at ease, but it also helps with their mental state. Putting their mind at ease gives them a positive outlook, and it doesn’t even require much. Simply ensuring everything is clean and organized can make a huge difference.
4. Cleanliness of surfaces in treatment areas is imperative too
Treatment room surfaces come into contact with plenty of patients, medical equipment, and the accompanying microorganisms. In addition to protecting patients and professionals from dangerous diseases, you must ensure surface cleaning to make a pristine first impression. Use the right cleaning products for slick, sanitized equipment and countertops to properly dispose of waste, remove dust, clear watermarks, and remove other residue.
Most hospitals either outsource or hire their cleaning staff. It is important to instruct them about proper cleaning practices and set schedules where they tidy up the most important areas like receptions, waiting rooms, and treatment spaces. And cleaning also includes disinfection because most healthcare facilities witness a plethora of contagious viruses and bacteria entering the facility. You don’t want others to enter healthily and leave with a serious ailment.
5. Importance of staff hygiene
More than your premises, the staff of the hospital is a representation of the facility. You can think of them as your brand ambassadors, and people, especially patients, judge their appearances and hygiene practices. While most doctors and nurses are trained in effective cleaning and washing, it is still crucial to keep reiterating these things for them. People, in their haste, can often forego cleanliness and hygiene to a considerable extent.
As a healthcare facility, this is something you cannot afford. Ensure your doctors lead by example. They are the leading authorities at all times on the floor and their cleanliness practices inspire others. At the same time, patients are also satisfied that they are in capable and safe hands. It is important to ensure that there are cleanliness reminders all over the premises. At the same time, areas for hand washing and taking care of personal hygiene need to be easily accessible for all.
You can also go a step further by organizing training programs, guest speaker sessions, and group discussions about the importance of cleanliness in the place. Not only the primary caregiving staff, but all other support employees like administrative and marketing professionals must also attend these gatherings. Keeping a healthcare facility clean is the responsibility of every person who works in it. Together, the efforts can be successful. With patients leaving satisfied and carrying positive mindsets thanks to the simple task of cleanliness, the hospital or clinic can build a rapport and other benefits for itself.
If you’ve ever visited a healthcare facility where cleanliness protocols are ignored, even to a small extent, you know the impact that it can have. As soon as a patient enters the facility, they look around and can spot untidiness quite quickly. This is the area that can make or break their decision about getting treatment at your clinic or not. The duty falls on you to put their minds at ease because, at the end of the day, treating patients is more than just about removing the source of their troubles from their bodies through surgery or medicine. It is about giving them a positive state of mind to aid recovery.