Frontlines of Infection Control: Janitors Lead "Clean Teams"

Hospitals are always trying to be the best amongst its peers . Traditionally, hospitals spend a great on reputations, technology that will provide world-class patient care Bringing on  an esteemed surgeon or top of the line devices to operate with hospitals continually  invest to drive public interest.

Over the past few years, a paradigm on expenditures that truly improve patient care has begun to shift. Instead of directing funds to the top of the pay scale with famous specialist, focus is shifting to the problem of infection control and personnel that deal with it every day.  Hospital cleanliness has become a matter of reputation and is now affecting the bottom line. Beginning in 2008, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ceased reimbursing hospitals for treatment of any infections that the hospital caused.

The integration of “clean teams” has been a popular inclusive environmental services approach. The team includes personnel from infection control, environmental service, and nurses.  The hierarchy starts with janitors because of their understanding of the day to day challenges including which rails are touched most frequently and which handles are hardest to clean. Infection control specialist track infections and investigate their causes, and nurses directly interact with the patients and share best practices.

The extra effort required to fight infections organisms has become a serious problem within the last 10 years. The first major outbreaks were caused by VRE and C. Diff, which live inside human beings, but lately new focus is being directed at environmental surfaces. Many pathogens can survive in low nutrient environments such as glass, plastic, metal, and other materials that make up hospital rooms.

The requirement to keep a sterile environment is key now and into the future.  To learn more about this topic click here to read the original article from Scientific America.

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