The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness were launched in May 2021. These standards apply to all healthcare environments and replace previous National Specifications for Cleanliness in the NHS and the Cleaning PAS standard
The NHS and other healthcare organisations have until spring this year to show how they plan on becoming compliant with these new standards. The standards highlight how effective digital audit systems can be in the quest for compliance, however, it’s important to not panic-buy a system.
There are many cleaning audit software providers out there but you must find the right software for your business. The software will essentially do the same job no matter who the provider is, so how do you choose the right provider for you? It comes to a stage where other considerations need to be made over the convenience of using existing providers or cost, such as:
Making cleaning audits digital provides users with the opportunity to identify trends and hot spots. It also offers greater transparency and a more effective way to share the data within an organisation. Cleaning audit software shouldn’t be something you purchase just to ‘tick’ a box. The right software, used properly, can be an integral part of your operation, especially when integrated with other tasking modules.
The standards seek to drive improvements while being flexible enough to meet the different and complex requirements of all healthcare organisations. And the software should mirror this principle.
There are now 6 Functional Risk categories (FR). The expanded scoring categories enables organisations to increase or decrease the risk rating in individual functional areas. However, organisations can choose to adopt these 6 FR categories or the blended approach where target percentages are based on the combined targets for rooms.
The standards come with 50 elements, a list of individual items/categories that require cleaning, each one with its own cleaning specification.
Scoring from audits can now be displayed using a 5-star-rating, similar to what you find in the hospitality industry. This star rating in healthcare cleanliness aims to be a simple, effective and visual way of providing meaningful information about quality that can be understood by members of the public.
As cleaning and infection prevention is a partnership, it’s important to audit the outcome of the cleaning as well as the cleaning process itself. To meet the standards, the efficacy of the cleaning process is just as important as the technical outcomes of the cleaning. The NHS is committed to cleanliness, and Asckey is committed to making this as simple as possible for your organisation.
Asckey’s fmfirst Cleaning has been purposefully built to have minimum click-through options and be an easy-to-use application. Its design automates report emails once audits have been completed, and includes any corrective actions that are required. This method of providing instant fault reporting and the options for rectifying, allows users to take action right away. This means time and resources can be proportionately allocated.
The software you choose shouldn’t be overcomplicated; the process can be complicated enough! It’s important to choose a digital solution that can help simplify the process and one that can also support the follow-up actions by raising tasks to rectify any faults reported. An application that can be integrated with other programmes will strengthen your auditing, and facilities management, toolkit. By collating the information together, organisations have all the insights they need at their fingertips, highlighting data trends that can then identify opportunities for improvement.