This article is written by Margriet van Dijken and comes from the website https://www.atir.nl/
How do you organize a clean working and living environment for residents and employees and how do you keep a grip on hygiene within the available budget? A question that was topical at Zorggroep Alliade years ago and is still the order of the day. We describe a unique collaboration that has developed over the past 12 years in line with the healthcare climate, digitization and foreseen and unforeseen external factors.
Cleaning in healthcare is a profession
Alliade offers youth care, care for the mentally disabled, care for the elderly and work and daytime activities in Friesland at about 300 locations. The collaboration with Atir started 12 years ago. How do you arrange the cleaning of more than three hundred locations where the elderly and people with a mental disability live, live and recreate? Cleaning in healthcare is a profession. You deal with many different people and circumstances. With small and larger locations. With places where clients are not or are present. With a light or greater degree of soiling.
Development in cooperation
Margriet van Dijken, managing partner Atir: “The most important result of the collaboration in the first years has been aimed at insight, grip and market conformity in the required cleaning and quality per location and type of care and transparency in agreements and expectations for both cleaners and location responsible care managers . Over the past 5 years, Atir’s role has clearly shifted from subject matter expert to digital cleaning consultant. A development that is entirely in line with this time in which software use for data generation and analysis is increasingly adding value”.
Alliade has also started working with the software used by Atir’s consultants. DKS and perception measurements are carried out by Alliade employees at the locations, as well as change management in the cleaning calculation in GRIP Financieel Beheer. Atir advises and assists Alliade in carrying out financial management, DKS and perception measurements. Independent technical measurements are performed randomly by Atir’s quality consultants. All results come together in GRIP Dashboard with which Alliade knows in real time how cleaning is doing per location and region.
In order to arrive at good quality standards, cleaning programs and realistic hourly calculations for all those locations, Alliade enlisted the help of consultancy firm Atir. Since 2010, both parties have been working together to optimize cleaning. The initial question was: “How do you get a grip on the cleaning of all these locations? And in particular, how do you deliver the desired quality within realistic and balanced budgets?
Accurate mapping of locations
A start has been made to accurately visualize the various locations. This concerns the size of rooms, finishing materials and use of space. Subsequently, cleaning programs have been drawn up that should deliver the desired result.
With regard to the nature and size of the various residential environments, in addition to care, the various target groups within the care group are also taken into account with regard to the required cleaning service. Day spending locations, residential houses in the neighbourhood, nursing homes, locations where groups of clients live together, but also the offices all have to be cleaned in their own way.
The programs are used as a starting point for hourly calculations per location.
The additional tasks have also been emphatically included, because in the healthcare sector they are often under threat. This also includes interim cleaning of sanitary areas, for example. However, these have been made transparent by naming them separately. This enabled a conscious choice to be made as to which activities fall under the cleaning department and which do not. In addition, quality management has been set up, a training program has been put together, instructions have been given with regard to working methods and the current and future management of data was central. And an important question for Alliade had to be answered: is what we do in line with the market?
Nine locations screened
Fokje van der Wal, director of cleaning and facility services at Alliade, has worked intensively with Atir to fully screen nine large residential locations, among other things. “It concerned the nursing and care homes of the Elderly Care division of Alliade. This varies from apartments where people live independently and receive care for a few hours a day, to residential facilities where intensive care is provided. We do the cleaning ourselves. We can do that internally. You are dealing with different target groups. In some locations, the client helps with the cleaning, in other places, such as the closed locations, not. You need very specific employees for certain target groups. Residents can sometimes react very violently to a change of staff.”
“We also have locations where the beds have to be made, where the laundry is done and nursing aids are cleaned. Our people not only carry out cleaning tasks, but also various process-supporting activities. A conscious choice for in-house management, but it must be organized and implemented demonstrably in line with the market.”
Most of the cleaning is done in-house by Alliade. A number of periodic matters have been deliberately assigned to a cleaning party in order to guarantee quality. This concerns, for example, window cleaning, facade cladding, floor maintenance and periodic cleaning of the sanitary facilities.
Fokje van der Wal: “By integrating the regular periodic work into the daily package and checking this, the quality has increased considerably. The change and the result is greatest at the locations of the Disabled Care. That is well documented and under control.”
Monitor the quality and keep a grip
A realistic cleaning calculation is the basis for a successful cleaning. Professional contract management gets the best out of the collaboration between the client, the cleaning department and the service provider, so that the agreements about cleaning add maximum value to the organization and the residents’ experience. In collaboration with IT Partner GRIP Facility, Atir collects and manages all available financial data such as rates, key figures and additional activities. In the tool, Alliade, the person responsible for cleaning and the supplier for periodic work can collaborate online and keep track of actions. Once the calculation is clear and the cleaning operation and the financial system are properly set up, it is important to offer tools to monitor quality. Where is it going as desired and where should it be improved? DKS and VSR quality measurements are carried out periodically. Experience measurements were recently added to this, which Alliade itself conducts with the audit App at the various locations. The results of all types of measurements, regardless of who performs them, are visible to the managers on the GRIP dashboard. Atir offers its customers online insight into the results of measurements and established KPIs. The checks are linked to employee training and workplace investigations.
Explanation for insight
Margriet van Dijken: “If you explain the usefulness and necessity of the hourly calculation and the cleaning programs well, support is created among the employees to act accordingly.” An explanation of how hours are calculated and the cleaning methods to be used is also important for insight and peace of mind on the work floor. Controls should not be experienced as a moment of settlement. It is not a report, but above all an advice to further improve things together.
The well-being of the client is paramount
What matters in the end, especially at Alliade, is the well-being of the residents. Attention to the client is very important. Of course, the cleaner must perform his or her program properly and the quality is measured, but the cleaning programs are mainly an important guideline for these target groups. As a cleaner you have to dare to make choices yourself, if there is a calamity or if something suddenly comes up. Employees have a broad function. They work for and with people who are vulnerable, who often cannot save themselves.
If someone asks for a glass of water or a cup of coffee and a chat. Then that is very important. There must also be time and space for that. It is precisely through insight into the work program that peace is created in the workplace and the employee feels the space to respond to these types of requests.
All in all, getting a grip on cleaning quality requires customization in which choices can be made based on transparency. Insight for employees is also necessary in order to gain support for change.