Healthcare Cleaning: The Key to Developing Well-trained Teams

When it comes to healthcare cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection, having poorly trained or ill prepared staff isn’t an option. If those workers don’t understand a healthcare facility’s specific needs, it can result in costly, dangerous errors.

Along with looking for experience and certifications, always ask how your cleaning partner recruits, onboards, trains and supports the workers responsible for keeping your hospitals and clinics safe.

Healthcare Cleaning Requires Specialized Recruiting and Onboarding

A healthcare cleaner’s skills are significantly different than those of someone cleaning an office. That means a cleaning company needs to understand what to look for and how to recruit staff that can handle additional responsibilities and needs.

We have dedicated recruiters in house at KleenMark, including a team focused solely on the medical field. This is essential. It allows a cleaning company to quickly ramp up and ensure they’re hiring people qualified to work in healthcare.

And, once they’re in the door the focus is on a proven onboarding process. Right out of the gate, they’re trained on relevant standards from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). This ensures they understand we’re responsible for specific standards that keep people safe and keep a healthcare facility compliant.

New healthcare cleaning technicians immediately undergo background checks, have their vaccinations verified and updated as needed, and begin to acquaint them with the essentials needed to work in a healthcare facility.

On-the-job Training: A Safe, Tiered Approach

Our medical team leaders are meticulous, having worked in the industry a combined 40-plus years. So, as you can imagine they take a thorough, safe approach to training new healthcare cleaning technicians.

During the first 1-2 months (if not longer), each person starts as a medical general cleaner. They learn the basics and prove they’re hitting our standards. During this time they’re highly supervised, with a veteran healthcare supervisor over their shoulder.

Once they’ve proven competence in all levels, they move into a role as a pre-/post-op cleaner. They learn more detailed and stringent cleaning and disinfecting standards, which allows them to handle a range of needs, from ambulatory centers to specialty clinics.

Ultimately, they reach a level of expertise to become operating room cleaners. This means they can handle any cleaning and disinfection need, from restrooms to a terminal clean.

When you’re looking for an outside cleaning partner, be sure to verify they follow a similar approach. This leads to consistent results and less turnover, both of which are essential in healthcare.

In-the-field Leadership

This is straightforward but the significance cannot be overstated. In most instances, cleaning companies have an off-site supervisor or two and then you have to go to corporate to find leadership.

That’s now how we roll and it’s not what you should settle for. Our director of medical operations is in the field – daily. He’s checking on his teams, providing support, training and auditing results. This is what it takes to run an effective healthcare cleaning program. Anything else isn’t sufficient.

Additionally, we have two medical managers and two assistant managers, as well as multiple levels of on-site and in-field supervision, overseeing each individual location. 

Our expert-trained and tenured supervisors manage day-to-day operations, performance and ensure our medical teams always maintain the highest level of quality. They’re the backbone of a structure that has allowed us to be incredibly responsive and accountable when cleaning healthcare facilities.

After 20 years of cleaning healthcare facilities, we’ve found this is what it takes to do the job right. And it’s what’s key to preventing costly errors. If you’re curious or want to go into more detail about how we train our teams, send us an email any time.

Infection Control: Is your cleaning company qualified?

When it comes to infection control in your hospitals, clinics and labs, there isn’t room for error. That we can agree on. But what should you look for to ensure the cleaning company you’ve hired is truly up to handling the stringent requirements you have?

To start, look for two things: Experience and TRUSTED certification.

Experience Handling Infection Control

Let’s face it, nothing beats decades of experience. Understanding the ins and outs of a healthcare facility’s nuanced needs is complex, especially when it comes to infection control.

We like to think of our healthcare teams as our special forces of cleaning. Not only does the team undergo extensive training, but they’re led by in-the-field veterans, including our director and manager who together have over 40 years of experience working in complex and large healthcare systems.

With that experience comes dialed-in processes, meaning you don’t have to wait for your cleaning crew to get up to speed. They know what they need to do when they walk through the door.

For instance, consider terminal cleaning procedures required in operating rooms. Along with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations require, our Kleeners have a 25-point cleaning process that guides them through EACH terminal cleaning. But we don’t only rely on process when it comes to operating rooms, we verify our work with ATP testing.

Whenever considering a new cleaning partner, or when auditing your existing partner, dig deep into their processes and in-the-field experience. Always require they “show” their work.

Achieving GBAC Standards

A lot of organizations claim they’re trained to handle infection control needs. We saw it all too frequently during the pandemic, and I doubt the claims will cease overnight.

For that reason, look for credible third-party validation. The most trusted certification comes from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), which is a division of ISSA. GBAC accreditation and training ensures your cleaners meet stringent, evidence-based standards for cleaning, infection control and disinfection. Subsequently, it elevates the reputation of your facility.

It’s important, too, that more than the organization’s leadership team is trained. At KleenMark, which has specialized in healthcare cleaning for years, we have more than 100 operators trained as GBAC technicians, ranging from supervisors to frontline cleaners.

As GBAC-trained technicians, they study cleaning theory, infectious disease prevention and control techniques, and medical grade disinfection. That means they’ll always have the most up-to-date information available to keep facilities clean and safe. 

I share all this because it’s important to know what to look for no matter who you partner with. If you want to learn more about our experience and certifications, don’t hesitate to send us a note any time.

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