The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how healthcare is delivered and has affected healthcare facilities’ operations. Effects may include rises in patients seeking care for respiratory issues, deferring or delaying non-COVID-19 care for fear of transmission, disruptions in supply chains, absenteeism among staff, and increases in mental health concerns due to isolation. Healthcare facilities need to provide care and prioritize safety for both patients and healthcare personnel. From home-based care to telehealth, urgent care to emergency rooms, healthcare facilities must continue to adapt. This includes preventing the spread of the virus and putting an emphasis on responsible cleaning procedures by janitorial businesses.
While COVID-19 continues to make its way through the United States with no vaccine available, the infection has even occurred at hospitals where patients and staff are in close contact. It’s crucial for clients in the healthcare industry, including janitorial businesses staff, to understand the severity and importance behind following procedures to limit exposure and spreading the virus.
Here are some essential infection prevention techniques.
While the telehealth market was already seeing an increase in engagement in recent years, COVID-19 essentially forced it to surge in 2020. Telehealth services can help to limit spreading when available and appropriate. Healthcare facilities and providers can use telehealth in the following ways:
- Screen patients who may have symptoms of COVID-19 and refer as appropriate.
- Access primary care providers and specialists, including mental and behavioral health care providers, for chronic health issues and medication management.
- Engage in case management for patients who have difficulty accessing care, including those in rural settings.
- Provide urgent care for non-COVID-19 conditions, refer patients as appropriate, and identify higher acuity care needs.
- Monitor clinical signs of certain medical conditions remotely, such as blood pressure.
- Follow up with patients after discharge from a hospital.
- Provide non-emergent care to residents in long-term care facilities.
Keeping Frontline Facilities Clean
At inpatient facilities, executive staff should make cleanliness and awareness top priorities when preventing the spread of the virus. Having mandatory mask and social distancing mandates can keep people from infecting each other and reducing the risk of spreading germs. Healthcare facilities can also limit visitors to the facility to only those essential for the patient’s physical or emotional well-being and care.
To make things more obvious, facilities can place visual alerts, such as signs and posters in appropriate languages for hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
When it comes to cleaning and disinfecting these facilities, janitorial staff should remain vigilant and attentive. The potential for lawsuits against janitorial teams and healthcare facilities is still being reviewed and discussed in these unprecedented times, but operating with vigilance in cleanliness and janitorial insurance can combine to prevent significant financial and legal risks for healthcare facilities.
All sections of a hospital should be treated as strictly as the next and thoroughly cleaned. For sections where COVID-19-confirmed patients have been cared for, janitorial businesses and their staff should seclude them and begin disinfecting all adjoining areas.
When it comes to routine cleaning, janitorial staff should clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including bathrooms, common areas, electronic equipment, door handles, and seating areas.
To limit the possibility of exposure and spreading the virus even further, cleaning teams should wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Teams should discard gloves after each cleaning. If janitorial members use reusable gloves, those gloves should only be used during cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.
About Tangram Insurance Services
Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.