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Three weeks left to nominate for Hygiene Specialist Excellence Award
Environmental Services Managers have until 31stt December to nominate the housekeeper of their choice for the second annual Hygiene SpecialistExcellence award in the US.
The prize is one worth winning; it includes an all-expenses-paid vacation for two to South Beach, FL, including airfare and beachfront accommodation!
"This award is a great way to start the New Year by recognising a member of your Environmental Services department," says George Clarke, CEO of UMF Corporation, developer of PerfectClean Hygiene Systems. "The award was established to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of ES, the first line of defence in providing a safe patient environment and reducing healthcare-associated infections.
"We want to help elevate the role of ES within the hospital hierarchy and give those involved the respect they're due."
Recently, George Clarke said he fears ES is being overlooked as America's hospitals simultaneously scramble to cut costs and raise levels of patient satisfaction incorporating the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems survey and scores.
He said he bases his fears on a recent UMF ad-hoc survey of ES managers across the US of full time ES staff, in efforts to cut costs as healthcare expenses escalate.
"ES managers polled indicated that their departments were, on average, short by between five and nine full time people," he said.
"This is happening in spite of hospital expansions, expanded services, increased patient admissions and shorter lengths of stay, which create more room turnover."
Fortunately, clinical researchers and some medical centres have begun to realise that ES is about more than just having a squeaky-clean, shiny hospital floor to make a positive impression on patients and visitors. "ES is about patient care and patient safety - at least it should be," he said.
For example, last year, over a six-month period, Chicago-based Roseland Community Hospital reduced to zero the rate of infection of a specific HAI in its surgical units. The hospital's ES department played a significant role in the success of a facility-wide team effort, which included organisation-wide training of all staff on cleaning and disinfection of equipment and environmental surface 'hot spots'.
"This type of success in the battle against HAIs is very achievable," says George. "Structured educational programmes that focus on training, education and ongoing reinforcement of best practices create a safer patient environment."
He is encouraging hospitals to refocus their efforts on environmental surfaces and people contact points. "It's frightening how many hospitals still use retired cotton materials in patient rooms and other critical areas," he warns. "These inferior products have zero mechanical performance and are known to inactivate quaternary disinfectants.
"It has been shown that programmes that combine infection prevention with hand-hygiene dramatically reduce HAIs in hospital settings.
"Clearly, ES is the first line of defence in the battle against HAIs."
Nominations for the award should include a brief description as to how the nominee has demonstrated the highest professional standards and diligence in supporting infection prevention.
15th December 2011