As the world tries to make sense of the coronavirus crisis, it is clear that the elderly are especially at risk and in need of extra precautions to protect their health. Aged care facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the patient care environment within their facility is maintained to a very high standard of absolute hygiene and cleanliness, in order to meet with and adapt to the new needs being enforced to manage and handle such a biohazard.
Many cleaning companies cannot adapt nor gear themselves, their teams, their processes, nor their materials and chemicals, fast enough or mobilise their resources to such a massive change.
The current protocols for our senior citizens amidst COVID-19
How do we protect the most vulnerable members of our society, while also keeping in mind the already growing trend of social isolation amongst the elderly? Last week, the government followed Britain in introducing strong measures to safeguard our elderly population from the threat of infection by restricting visits to care homes. The Federal Government has mandated that from May 1, all people must have received a flu vaccination to work in or visit an aged care home.
When aged care facilities were notified of the outbreak and the need to immediately employ a dedicated infectious control outbreak team to perform certified cleaning services with 100% compliance, for many they were uncertain how to enforce this, based on their current contracts and engagements with their cleaning company. This included cleaning all affected areas as well as all touch points, door handles, hand rails, work stations and reception desks throughout the facility. Particular emphasis applied to any specific areas where the outbreak is known to have been active, and all work to be carried out according to relevant standards regarding ‘transmission’ or ‘outbreak’ based cleaning practices.
There are a range of published recommendations for cleaning schedules and the use of cleaning equipment, chemicals and techniques in a health care setting. These include risk profiling functional areas in your facility and ensuring that cleaning schedules, procedures, equipment and chemicals are appropriate for each room, surface area, fixture and environment within your facility.
How does Challenger Services Group hold up to Industry-specific regulations?
Aged Care facilities are bound by their own highly-prescriptive cleaning standards, and rightly so. There is no room for error in an environment where delicate immune systems are paired with the potential for rapid cross-contamination if standards aren’t adhered to strictly.
Few other industries are subject to both audits and unannounced visits to inspect their compliance to defined standards, with the facility’s accreditation and ability to continue accepting new residents on the line if a breach is found. Environmental cleanliness is measured through accreditation to the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS), and neglecting of such service standards could unravel a situation in a very ugly way if a facility’s cleaning isn’t being conducted, coordinated and explained to an industry auditor, adequately.
Though it is hardly unique to aged care providers, it doesn’t seem right to compile a list of challenges without offering some acknowledgement of the tight budgets which are involved. Aged care operators are given a rather thin line to walk in order to satisfy both their cleaning needs and financial ledger. Neglecting either side could seriously jeopardise the future viability of your facility, so it’s a decision which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Challenger's outsourced cleaning services teams are aware of recommended cleaning frequencies and methods appropriate for each area and ensure that a comprehensive cleaning schedule is planned for your aged care facility’s standard cleaning. These inspections and audits ensure our cleaners are on top of hygiene and cleanliness and assure your total satisfaction with the hygiene and cleanliness of your facility.
Are our aged care cleaning quality standards appropriate in the current climate?
If you don't already have a solution in place, to meet the new standards, needs and criteria in your Aged Care facility, or if you have any more questions, we'd love to assist you in navigating a quick solution, leveraging our efficient outsourced cleaning services.