Having been in existence for over 600 years, Sant Pau hospital in Barcelona is a centre that has succeeded in adapting through the centuries and is currently at the leading edge of medicine, gaining international reverence. In 2016, more than 145,000 emergencies were recorded, 35,000 patients admitted and there were 350,000 external consultations. In total, 36,000 surgical operations were carried out.
Keen on maintaining its reputation of excellence, Sant Pau wanted to improve the way that cleaning is managed in the hospital. Cleaning and disinfection are indeed crucial tasks within a hospital, as they enable to maintain a safe environment for patients: “Following strict hygiene norms is a key factor in reducing hospital acquired infections, and therefore saving lives. Bacteria spread rapidly on superficies and these need to be deeply cleaned and disinfected. Moreover, in sensitive zones like surgical areas or rooms for patients on contact isolation, extra care has to be taken,” explains Cristina Garcia Arcos, Healthcare Sector Leader at Sealed Air Diversey Care. The specialist highlights that ‘proper cleaning management also reduces costs by reducing the number of patients who have to prolong their stay at the hospital as a result of infections’.
In the past at Sant Pau, the completion of key cleaning tasks was monitored and the operational processes followed; however, no specific data was collected. In order to avoid bacterial growth in the different areas of the hospital, microbiological plates were regularly sent to laboratories, but the centre was looking for a system that could help properly manage the cleaning process and give an overview of the situation.
“It was, for instance, not possible to see in real time who was executing a task and in which area of the hospital. The incidences that can happen during cleaning procedures were not tracked either: for example, if suddenly it was not possible anymore to clean one of the rooms of the hospital because a patient was still in it, this information didn’t appear anywhere,” highlights Garcia Arcos.
This is where SmartView by Diversey Care came in. SmartView is a unique mobile communication platform that delivers service performance improvement with a range of real-time management, quality control and reporting features for interdependent cleaning teams in the FM, hospitality and healthcare industries. The flexibility and ease-of-use of SmartView makes it ideal for supporting proactive service delivery.
The implementation at Sant Pau happened quickly, due to the many benefits that the hospital saw in SmartView. The main one is that the platform enables a real-time management and supervision of the cleaning process, making possible to monitor every cleaning task that is taking place or has been done in the hospital thanks to its cloud based technology. It is not only possible to check by whom and where these tasks have been completed but is also to have useful insights about the cleaning quality, the productivity and time management. Furthermore, as the system reports about all these parameters, it provides analysis, can identify potential problems related to hygiene and cleaning standards and alert the staff, even before they happen. This is especially valuable to anticipate and take preventive measures.
SmartView has also many others functions of great value - for instance, the possibility to manage room occupancy and see which of the 644 beds of the hospital are available or not. Additionally, the system is very easy for employees to work with since it is based on visuals, making monitoring quickly understandable from any device and can easily be interlinked to other databases. All these valuable aspects enable the team to adjust to the hospital’s budget by making the right decisions.
Some of the 189 cleaning employees expressed concerns that the platform could be used as a means to control them. However, quite the opposite happened. A lot of small cleaning tasks that were not tracked in the past are now identified and listed. “The same people that had doubts at the beginning of SmartView implementation now feel more respected, as everyone is more aware of their responsibilities,” assures a healthcare cleaning specialist.
The implementation of SmartView has undeniably increased the hospital’s total efficiency in cleaning management. The cleaner’s time is used more effectively, the cleaning and disinfection is better organised and patient safety is higher. The whole cleaning protocol is currently well structured, and the appropriate corrective measures can be applied on time, when and where necessary: “The cause of a recurrent bacterial outbreak happening every Wednesday could, for instance, be identified. The hospital found out that the cleaning protocol wasn’t properly followed over the weekends and could take the appropriate measures,” reports Garcia Arcos.
More importantly, the improvement of the cleaning quality has saved lives by reducing the cases of hospital acquired infections (HAI). Minimising this risk is a clear objective for all Spanish hospitals, as HAIs affected 4,608 persons in Spain in 2016; that is to say 7.92 per cent of patients. In terms of productivity, there has been a clear amelioration as well, since resource management has progressed, employing people where their benefit can be maximised. And economically, all these factors have helped manage budgets more accurately and reduce treatments costs.
“SmartView enables a clear visibility over the cleaning process and, consequently, manages it more effectively. This effective management is a crucial point in a hospital, as it is directly linked to the safety of patients,” points out Garcia Arcos. Moreover, staff are entirely satisfied with the platform and convinced that it has changed things for the better. Now, they feel that they are involved in the process, since all the different parameters in which they play a part are measured On top of that, SmartView gives an important competitive advantage as maintaining the highest possible hygiene standards inherently makes the hospital safer and has brought respect and recognition from the medical world and patients. “Every hospital should be aware that managing cleaning the right way is a question of responsibility, it can save lives,” concludes the specialist.