Within a hospital facility, there is the environment health and safety (EH&S) department, medical equipment management department, custodial department, and O&M department, to mention just a few — each with their own infection control (IC) responsibilities. These groups collectively share a portion of the hospital’s IC responsibilities. Unfortunately, each is a silo in itself and while hospital acquired infections (HAI) have been reduced in recent years and IC policy and procedures have improved along with record keeping, HAIs have not been eliminated and will not be eliminated while individual health care silos exist.
So let’s tear down the silos. Instead, let’s outsource all tasks associated with cleaning and caring for IC prevention to a for-profit HVAC maintenance company that will set up a single-source IC workorder system, with the work completed by technicians trained in IC maintenance. Why the HVAC department? Because this support service group is proficient in maintaining and caring for equipment systems and material through the use of preventive maintenance workorders. What other hospital group has a workorder system?