Prof. Didier Pittet:

“Cleaning in healthcare facilities is a team effort”

Cleaners, healthcare professionals, and infection prevention experts: all three play an important role in ensuring proper hygiene in healthcare facilities. “Cleaning in the care sector requires teamwork,” says Professor Didier Pittet, Director of the Infection Control Programme at the University of Geneva and chairman of Clean Hospitals, partner of Interclean and co-host of the Healthcare Cleaning Forum on 12 May.

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“Not everyone is aware of the importance of good cleaning, while cleaning is indispensable if you want to guarantee the safety of patients in healthcare facilities”, says Pittet in an interview with Interclean.


Bigger than it seems

According to the professor, cleaning is often thought about too lightly. “It's not as easy as it looks. Many decisions need to be made and many parties are involved.” For example, changing a cleaning agent, which may initially seem rather harmless, could have an enormous impact on the cleaning staff who need to work with that product on a daily basis.“It is very important that the people who make such decisions, understand the consequences of implementing new products or techniques. That's why you need to make these kinds of decisions as a team rather than as an individual. Cleaning in the environment of healthcare facilities really requires a team effort”, Pittet emphasises.


Better care for the patient

Cleaning experts, infection prevention experts and care staff all play a role in ensuring (environmental) hygiene. Pittet: “As Clean Hospitals, we want to make these parties work together even better, to ultimately achieve better care for patients. Only if you combine various expertise are you able to make the best decisions.” For instance, you need people who understand the science and theory behind hygiene and cleaning, but also people who have an understanding of specific products and techniques. “Cleaning may seem unimportant or trivial, especially in an environment where doctors and surgeons save lives every day, but that is amiss, because cleaning is extremely important. Specifically in an environment like this”, Pittet finally emphasises. All the experts mentioned will soon be coming together to discuss hygiene and cleaning in the care sector at the Healthcare Cleaning Forum during Interclean Amsterdam on Thursday 12 May.  

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Cleaning in healthcare

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