7/21/11

How do you create a patient care team if you privatize housekeeping?

Dr Michael Phillips, hospital epidemiologist at New York University Langone Medical Center tells Infection Control Today about the role of environmental contamination in the transmission of hospital acquired infections.  

To respond to this issue,  he stresses the importance of "incorporating environmental services into the patient care unit team. ...This type of collaboration enhances problem solving – and reduces infections."  He adds that environmental services "are a critical member of the team" and sets out a number of ways that collaboration and communication between infection control specialists and environmental services can be enhanced. 

This sounds like common sense. 

But can you hope to achieve this if hospital housekeeping services are contracted out?   A separate for-profit business will not want to let its staff receive direction from the hospital or its staff -- they will want to retain control to control costs (and keep their profits).   



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