Picture this: you’re a potential patient in need of care, and upon entering a healthcare facility everything appears to be well-kept. But you notice trash and sticky spots on the floor.
Your perception of that facility’s cleanliness is negatively impacted, right?
The appearance of these floors can also subconsciously shape your perception of the quality of care you may receive.
This is why floor care is such an integral part of the overall patient experience, infection prevention, and ultimately the success of a facility. And while this includes things like leftover trash or missed spots, it goes beyond that.
In this blog, we’ll break down the three non-negotiable steps healthcare facilities and environmental services teams should take to maintain spotless floors in their hospital.
Choosing the right floor
Proper floor care starts at the very beginning — the construction process. The collaboration of healthcare professionals and those planning the facility could solve problems before they even arise.
A few factors to consider when choosing flooring are type of traffic, frequency of traffic, durability, repairability, and cleaning requirements or restrictions.
For example, restaurants often choose non-slip flooring because of the constant movement and likelihood of spills. That’s because those planning the restaurant considered those factors before installing flooring. It’s the same idea when it comes to a healthcare facility.
Considering these features is as equally important as aesthetics. Choosing the right flooring is the first step to good floor care and will pay off in the long run by reducing needs for repairs and kickstarting the development of a proper floor cleaning program, custom to each facility.
Using the right products
After choosing the right flooring, facilities need to choose the right products to maintain them. A common mistake facilities often make is applying incorrect or unnecessary finishes, chemicals, or dilutions to floors.
For example, applying floor finish to non-wax, stone, or terrazzo floors can lead to risks or damage. Understanding what the floor is made of, and then choosing the correct products necessary for maintenance will help to save resources and make a floor care program more efficient and successful.
It can also be common for facilities to cut corners when it comes to selecting products, with the idea of creating a more cost effective program.
Though choosing a less than stellar or incorrect product may create savings in the short term, you’ll likely end up needing a costly replacement or dealing with ongoing maintenance costs related to these products.
Using a quality, properly diluted neutral product for daily cleaning is vital to the success of a floor care program, and is often not well executed, creating a huge missed opportunity for facilities.
Training and development
Lastly, investing in the people executing these programs can improve operational success.
Historically, there has been high turnover in floor tech or environmental services positions. While there can be many contributing factors, a common one is the lack of proper training of those managing these programs. Without proper education and development, managers can’t teach their team members proper practices and maintenance.
In turn, floor care programs are left to team members that have to rely on their previous experience and hope they’re executing these programs correctly.
As previously mentioned, all floors require different levels of care, different products, and so on.
So, how can facilities expect these team members to understand the specific needs of their program if they haven’t received the training or information on how to do so?
Implementing proper training and development from the start for managers and team members will help improve confidence and knowledge, reduce mistakes or accidents, and make a floor care program more successful.
Choosing the right floor, using the right products, and training your team will create a domino effect:
- Floors will be better maintained, improving appearance and creating a more welcoming, warm environment.
- Patients recognize this and perceive the facility as a clean and safe space to receive care.
- Patients gain trust in the quality of care, and positively begin their experience in a facility.