With the growing concern towards good health and better living, the healthcare industry is always striving to offer the best. In the UAE, the healthcare sector has undergone major advancements in terms of specialised services and treatments. Needless to say, sanitation and cleanliness of such facilities will always take precedence. This is where healthcare facility accreditation helps such organisations comply with regulations, while maintaining required standards in patient care. The Joint Commission International (JCI) Accreditation, valued globally as perhaps the highest certification in healthcare, is based on a foundation of stringent quality and safety standards followed in patient and staff care across the facilities accredited.
Once a hospital or clinic has been accredited, it becomes even more imperative to maintain the standards on a daily basis and work towards performance improvement. JCI requires a facility to be re-accredited every three years, and to this end, the organisation should keep itself abreast with the most recent standards and also update and train its internal staff and service providers.
The service provider should also maintain daily checklists of the last two years for audit purposes. The main things focused on from a cleaners’ perspective are segregation of waste, chemical dilution, proper use of PPE, fire and safety, hand hygiene and also personal hygiene.
Also, there is a line of questions the auditors ask cleaners during their rounds, which include use of approved and specialised hospital chemicals, contact time of chemicals, arrangement of trolleys, cleaning procedure of patient rooms, segregation of waste and transfer of waste to disposal areas. Questions for the supervisors include: staff trainings, vaccination, etc.
Tanzifco Emirates, one of the leading soft services providers in the Middle East, has been successfully involved in working towards acquiring this prestigious accreditation and re-accreditation along with its esteemed clients in the healthcare sector. Currently, Tanzifco caters to eight major hospitals and other such facilities in the UAE.
“Healthcare facilities are considered to be one of the most sensitive and challenging environments for cleaning and allied services. Cleaning is not the only restrictive to hygiene, but it is also about maintaining high level of sanitation, infection control and thereby minimising the risk to patients and the staff. Our professionally trained, certified and experienced staff of our in-house BICSc accredited Training Centres in the UAE and Asia have been the solid foundation, which has worked in tandem with our customers to successfully achieve the prestigious JCI re-accreditation,” says Ali Deryan, General Manager, Tanzifco Emirates.
Recently, the soft services provider has helped two of its healthcare facilities - Al Rahba Hospital, Abu Dhabi (A SEHA health system facility) since November 2014 and Ibrahim Bin Hamad Obaidullah Hospital, Ras Al Khaimah (Ministry of Health & Prevention) since July 2015, achieve the re-accreditation of the JCI certification.
Tanzifco trained all the housekeeping staff at the Al Rahba hospital including the supervisors, training assessors and hospital infection control department, for almost a month and prepared all the necessary documents according to the company standards and protocol for the certification. The JCIA auditors focused on all major aspects like safety (patient and staff) and infection control, chemical dilution, patient room cleaning, body fluid cleaning, needle stick injury, fire and safety, waste management, incident reports and so on. Tanzifco received plaudits from the Support Service division of the hospital through a JCIA appreciation certificate for all the housekeeping staff once Al Rahba hospital successfully received its renewed JCI certificate.
On the other hand, Ibrahim Bin Hamad Obaidullah Hospital, Ras Al Khaimah started its rounds of preparation three months in advance. It was more challenging for the housekeeping department considering the scale of operations, the infrastructure and the ongoing construction at the facility. The cleaners, too, had to be updated with the policies and procedures with enhanced training programmes. They were also given training by the hospital infection control and FMS team in fire safety, disaster awareness and infection control, while the supervisors ensured that all the documents including the staff’s personnel files were in order. In addition, the housekeeping and cleaning staff had to work with precision to meet the required standards following the structural changes (which also included painting) which the facility underwent a few days before the audit.
“Tanzifco understands the critical nature of health care, and to meet the requirements we have developed a structured training programme tailored for the healthcare industry. Our staff catering to the healthcare sector goes through an intensive training with a safety-first approach to ensure standards are maintained for the safety of all hospital staff and patients alike, while reducing the ever-present risk of cross-contamination,” sums up Deryan.