There are a variety of health concerns that arise on an annual basis, and the flu is just one. Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that 5%-to-20% of Americans contract the flu every year.
Infections such as the flu are spread throughout the environment in several ways. Approximately 80% of these infections are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces as well as through contact with other people, according to the CDC.
Flu viruses have been know to survive up to 48 hours on hard surfaces. Hospital offices and work stations are, as a result, potential sources for germs to thrive. Desks, counters, and similar surfaces, for example, can have up to ten million bacteria living on them. Furthermore, it has been found that computer mice, keyboards, and chairs may have 21,000 germs per square inch.
The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) addresses a variety of potential heath and safety hazards at hospitals. These regulations provide guidelines on the appropriate methods and means to handle these potential hazards, including surface disinfection.
Hepatitis B, for example, has been known to survive for a minimum of one week in dried blood, according to the CDC. When surfaces, needles, and medical instruments are not properly disinfected, this virus is a potential hazard.
A pilot program was begun in 1999 by the U.C. Davis Medical Center. The purpose of this program was to determine whether the use of microfiber could be a viable replacement for previously used cleaning products and protocols. This study was also concerned with the financial viability of microfiber usage.
The program reported the following highlights:
- Lifetime cost savings for mops: 60%
- Chemical cost reduction with mopping: 95%
- Per day labor savings: 20%
Other program highlights included worker wage savings of $7,665, and a reduction of 46% for purchasing quaternary ammonium chloride.
In order to maintain a clean and sanitary hospital environment, an outsourced cleaning service is a viable option. A professional cleaning service is trained to follow hospital cleaning protocols, and can also provide green cleaning services when requested or required. While hospitals and other medical facilities may require different types of cleaning services than other facilities, these protocols can be followed by a professional cleaning service.