Once infection control cleaning processes are fully defined and workers are trained on the procedures, incorporate quality control measures to track the results.

“If you follow these steps using the proper technologies, then employ a science based measurement to monitor them, you’re going to have the most favorable results,” Sheldon says. 

Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health utilizes an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) cleaning validation and tracking system after rooms have been cleaned to assess whether pathogens remain. If bacterial levels remain high afterward, they retrain workers to ensure everyone maintains the same high standards of clean. 

Heller believes BSCs should come to the table expecting to implement a comprehensive quality control program like the one employed at Jewish Hospital-Mercy Health. These infection control cleaning programs must incorporate regular visual inspections, microbial simulation audits utilizing a bioluminescent agent, and ATP monitoring. 

“They should expect to use all three, and have a road map laid out about where they intend to use them, how often they intend to use them, what they are going to measure their results against, and how they intend to use those results,” he says. 

BSCs can expect to work collaboratively with patient safety and infection prevention specialists to fine-tune infection control cleaning standards, frequency audits and reporting requirements, as well as to share their findings. 

“BSCs have to be very open and transparent in the sharing of this information,” says Heller. “Infection preventionists are going to get very involved in overseeing the work that they do. They will expect full disclosure and open transparency about cleaning frequencies, products, procedures, monitoring, employee training and so on.”

Hospitals face lawsuits if someone dies from an HAI, and when those lawsuits arise the cleanliness of the environment will be a factor as liability is assessed. 

“We’re already seeing examples where cleaning procedures are being called into question, training records are being subpoenaed, and personnel are being interviewed,” says Heller. “BSCs need to recognize that what they do can directly contribute and connect into the liability chain. There is opportunity in this, however, if BSCs bring a level of sophistication and focus to their infection control cleaning services. It is an opportunity for them to build a program that differentiates them from one a healthcare facility can build themselves.”

Helping prevent HAIs through better cleaning practices spells opportunity that can build business while at the same time saving lives. 


Ronnie Garrett is a freelance writer based in Fort Atkinson, Wis. She is a frequent contributor to Contracting Profits.


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