Elite Systems got its start in medical office buildings, or MOBs, which are facilities where outpatient surgeries occur. They are also more likely to employ day cleaning staff.

“We never aspired to clean hospitals,” Holderman says, but cleaning MOBs helped Elite build its business and over time hospitals began calling them, too.

MOBs are a good place for BSCs to test the waters. With no overnight patients, workers have the luxury of cleaning rooms without worrying about turnover time.

“In a hospital, you don’t have that luxury,” Holderman says. “Turnover times are key.”

A BSC, however, cannot just decide to switch to healthcare. There are things that need to be in place for this endeavor to be successful. The first step is to add an infection control professional to the payroll.

“The best analogy I can give is how contracted foodservice providers understand they need nutritionists and dieticians as part of their technical capabilities,” says Heller. “BSCs need to think of infection preventionists as part of their clinical infection prevention, corporate capabilities team.”

Heller adds BSCs also need an employee with clinical analytics capabilities. These individuals must be able to crunch the numbers to translate hygiene outcomes and compare them to clinical performance.

“That’s where the magic happens,” says Heller. “Most BSCs lack that capability today and rely on hospitals for it. That’s a strategic error because their entire value cannot be positioned on being the low-cost provider. It has to be centered on making a difference in clinical outcomes, which translates into an effective financial strategy for hospitals.”

Finally, Heller believes that BSCs need to raise their sophistication or change management. It’s not enough to hire low-price, lesser quality staff, and put a supervisor on every shift to monitor what they do.

“BSCs need to think about the quality of worker they hire, the education and training they invest in them, and the sophistication of their change management,” he says. “It’s not about smothering their efforts in supervisors to compensate for low-level frontline employees.”

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Infection Control Training Is Key To Success