Love in the Janitorial Closet... Yes, It Does Happen
University of Southern California Medical Center in East Los Angeles is one of the nation's largest — and busiest — public hospitals. In one year, the hospital treats more than 800,000 patients. It employs approximately 9,000 people.
With this many people, 'all the concerns about controlling the spread of infection and cross contamination are multiplied a thousandfold here,' says Bill Walton, the center's director of environmental services.
Because of this, Walton was looking for a more effective way to clean the hospital's common-area restrooms, which must be serviced three to four times per eight-hour shift. He says traditional restroom cleaning methods involving rags, sprayers, mops, buckets, and brooms are slow. Worse yet, we now know that mops and rags spread germs and bacteria as they become soiled. In effect, they are contributing to the problem, not alleviating it.
Because of these concerns about cross-contamination, Walton wanted a system that could hygienically clean the hospital's restrooms but one that also required very little touching of fixtures and surfaces. He decided to transfer to one of the smaller No-Touch Cleaning® systems developed by Kaivac Inc., of Hamilton, Ohio.
With these systems, chemicals are applied to all surfaces to be cleaned. The same areas are then pressure rinsed, similar to using an indoor pressure washer, which loosens and blasts away contaminants. The final step is to vacuum up the moisture as well as germs, bacteria, and soils so that they are completely removed from the restroom area.
'Because it's a no-touch system, our people don't have to hand-scrub toilets or urinals, wash down walls or mop floors,' says Walton. 'It is proving to be safer for our staff and far more effective than the old conventional cleaning methods. Further, odor problems have been eliminated, which tells me odor-causing bacteria has been washed away.'
Walton also believes the system is faster than conventional cleaning methods. Faster cleaning times have actually been verified by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. Their studies indicate the no-touch system, which they refer to as 'spray-and-vac' cleaning, is at least a third faster than conventional mop, bucket, sprayer, and rag cleaning.
'Using the Kaivac [system] helps eliminate cross-contamination, it's faster, and my people really love the machine,' says Walton. 'In fact, I've heard cleaning workers are always falling in love with their Kaivac. Now I know it is true.'