Americans are finally seeing a glimpse of hope as the new COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out and restrictions are being lifted. There is much anticipation about when we will begin to get back to a somewhat normal life. As these slow processes occur and as people start to venture out more and more, the higher the chances are of spreading and contracting new ilnesses, including Covid-19 and other "super bugs". Now is the time that business and facility managers need to establish and maintain the frequency of their cleaning and sanitizing services for the health and safety of everyone coming into their site especially in a health care setting.
Superbugs are a new phenomenon that the world is being faced with. They are strains of bacteria, viruses and parasites that are resistant to most of the antibiotics commonly used to treat the infections in humans. The most common superbugs working their way through the United States include: Clostridium difficile, also known as C. Diff and MRSA.Superbugs are formed when antibiotics are prescribed in excess; the old form of bacteria begins to adapt, making them more resistant to the medicine that is supposed to kill it. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics and vaccines caused the creation of superbugs. In hospitals, 190 million doses of antibiotics are administered each day, over $1.1 billion is spent annually on unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory infections in adults. Today, superbugs cause twice as many deaths in the United States as they did six years ago. In fact, approximately 2.8 million people are infected with a superbug every year and according to the U.S. Center for Disease control 35,000 people die as a result every year from a superbug.
With the exponential growth of superbugs the most difficult and ever-present battle that building mangers and cleaning service providers face on a daily basis is keeping their floors clean throughout their facility especially in healthcare settings. Gravity takes hold and everything lands on the floor from dirt, debris and microscopic organisms, including superbugs. They attach themselves to peoples shoes and track it throughout a facility to their final destination. In healthcare and hospital settings, the problems can become much more complex and dangerous when superbugs come into contact with patients who are already sick and have weak immune systems. In a recent study non-slip bed socks were retrieved from patients within hospitals. The results showed that 46 out of 54 pairs of socks were found to contain at least one superbug, that is an eighty-five percent infection rate. From this study alone, it shows us the real dangers of not keeping high disinfection standards when it comes to quality control, cleaning and disinfecting procedures within a facility.
NECS is committed to creating a culture of hygiene in all of the facilities that we manage. Creating this culture starts with employees constantly being seen throughout facilities that they clean throughout the day. Having staff see the cleaning crew physically present daily, assures the staff that they are in a clean and safe environment where they do not have to worry about possibly getting sick. Secondly NECS provides checklists indicating when a room or area was last cleaned and what services were performed throughout that space. Thirdly, installing sanitizing stations and providing disinfectant wipes that are placed throughout the facility especially in common and high touch areas. All of these steps provide comfort and confidence to all employees that they are working in a healthy and safe place.
One of the best lessons that we have learned in the COVID-19 pandemic is that the cleaning in any facility, especially healthcare is, without a doubt, the most important factor in keeping us all safe in this trying time. With over 44 years of experience NECS has all of the knowledge to help building and facility managers establish and follow the best procedures and protocols for their site.