Issuing a contract to clean and maintain your medical facility is a huge decision. Not only is it potentially a six figure contract, it also involves many stakeholders and discovery. It should come as no surprise that cleaning companies want your business. They'll likely tell you everything you want to hear about their qualifications and reputation. But what are the real questions you should be asking a potential partner for your medical facility cleaning services?
Be aware of regulatory requirements
Before you get into deep talks with a cleaning service, you want to reach out to your liaisons to any regulatory bodies in your jurisdiction. They will likely have some guidelines or industry-leading practices you can use to vet prospective contractors. Some common regulators to reach out to are:
State Licensing Boards: Each state has its own licensing board that regulates healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities within the state. These boards ensure that hospitals and their administrators comply with state-specific regulations, professional licensing requirements, and standards of practice.
State Health Departments: Each state has its own health department that oversees healthcare facilities within its jurisdiction. State health departments enforce state-specific regulations and licensing requirements for hospitals, ensuring compliance with health and safety standards, emergency preparedness, and reporting of infectious diseases. They may conduct inspections, investigate complaints, and provide guidance to healthcare providers.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA is a federal agency that sets and enforces workplace safety and health regulations. OSHA establishes guidelines to protect workers' safety and health, including those working in hospitals and healthcare settings. OSHA regulations cover areas such as infection control, bloodborne pathogens, hazardous materials, and ergonomics.
Ask about their standards and practices
Every cleaning service should be able to provide you with written SOPs upon request, or they should be clearly outlined in a contract. Every facility is different, so it wouldn’t make sense to give a specific list of practices here. But in general terms, you’ll want to keep and eye out for the following:
Cleaning services employ proper disinfection techniques to eliminate pathogens effectively. They use EPA-approved disinfectants and follow the recommended contact time to ensure maximum effectiveness. High-touch surfaces, medical equipment, and frequently used items are given special attention during disinfection.
Use of Specialized Equipment
Professional cleaning services use specialized equipment to ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection. This may include high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaners to capture small particles, microfiber cloths for effective dust removal, and electrostatic sprayers for efficient and uniform application of disinfectants.
Safe Waste Disposal
Proper waste management and disposal are crucial in medical facilities. Cleaning services ensure that all waste, including biohazardous materials, sharps, and general waste, is disposed of according to the facility's protocols and regulatory guidelines.
Training and Certification
Cleaning service personnel receive specialized training in medical facility cleaning. They are educated on infection control, proper handling of hazardous materials, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Certification programs such as the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) are often pursued to demonstrate proficiency in medical cleaning.
Cleaning Validation and Documentation
Professional cleaning services may perform cleaning validation, which involves testing and verifying the effectiveness of their cleaning protocols. They also maintain detailed documentation of cleaning schedules, activities performed, products used, and any incidents or concerns observed.
Be prepared for a long sales process
Because this is a major contract, a long courtship with a cleaning service might be helpful to vet them. Some of the items you may want to prepare for, if not outright initiate yourself, are:
Check Credentials and Certifications: Verify the credentials and certifications of the cleaning companies you are considering. Look for certifications such as the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) or the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) that demonstrate their expertise in medical facility cleaning.
Review Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that the cleaning companies have a clear understanding of the regulatory requirements specific to medical facility cleaning. Check if they adhere to guidelines from regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and local health departments.
Request References: Ask the cleaning companies for references from their current or past clients in the healthcare industry. Contact these references to inquire about their experiences, level of satisfaction, and any concerns they may have had with the service provider.
Inquire About Training and Staffing: Learn about the training programs and protocols implemented by the cleaning companies to ensure their staff members are knowledgeable about medical facility cleaning, infection control, and handling of hazardous materials. Ask about the background checks and screening processes for their cleaning staff.
Request Site Visits and Proposals: Invite the shortlisted cleaning companies to visit your medical facility. During the visit, discuss your specific needs, walk them through the areas that require cleaning, and address any concerns or special requirements. Ask for detailed proposals that outline the scope of work, cleaning schedules, pricing, and any additional services offered.
Evaluate Insurance Coverage and Liability: Verify that the cleaning companies carry appropriate insurance coverage, including general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. This ensures that you are protected from potential liabilities related to accidents, damages, or injuries that may occur during cleaning operations.
Pegasus is here to help
Pegasus is the trusted choice for medical facility cleaning services, relied upon by companies across all sectors of business. Our dedicated teams specialize in providing consistently excellent cleaning services that go above and beyond. By choosing Pegasus for your medical facility cleaning needs, you are making an investment in the safety, efficiency, and profitability of your critical environments. Discover the benefits of partnering with Pegasus today by requesting a free estimate for our top-notch services.