Healthcare providers across the country have been impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. For example, beginning with patients discharged in October 2012, the calculation of value-based incentive payments in the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing program for IPPS hospitals is now partially based on the HCAHPS performance. Now, patient satisfaction will have a positive or negative impact on the financial compensation to healthcare facilities. This makes it more important than ever to ensure that healthcare facilities are doing everything they can to improve their HCAHPS scores.
Relative to facility maintenance, there are two key questions on the HCAHPS survey:
- During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?
- During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night?
This poses a serious dilemma for healthcare housekeeping staff. How can they maintain a clean facility to achieve high scores for question #1 while ensuring that the area around the patient’s room remains quiet? The answer is surprisingly easy. New technology has allowed cleaning equipment manufacturers to develop automated cleaning equipment that will not disturb patients while they rest.
The first quiet cleaning equipment was introduced in 2009. These products were able to operate at an astounding 58 decibels, four times quieter than other products on the market at that time. In 2012, a new generation of products was introduced that operates at only 54 decibels. In most healthcare facilities this is quieter than the HVAC system, vending machines, or life sustaining equipment found throughout the facility.
For the first time, a facility can maintain their pristine appearance without sacrificing patient satisfaction. Not only is this a good practice, it now can have a positive financial impact for your facility. When choosing automated cleaning equipment, be sure to select the quietest machines available on the market.
Paul Lewandowski is the Equipment and Retail Product Manager at the Betco Corporation. He has over 9 years of experience in the janitorial and institutional cleaning business. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family and coaching intramural softball. Click here to contact Paul directly.