Environmental surfaces contribute significantly to the transmission of pathogens in healthcare environments, putting patients and personnel at risk. At least eight studies have shown an average 120 percent increased risk of acquiring a bacterial healthcare-associated infection (HAI) if the room was previously occupied by a colonized or infected patient.
However, terminal cleaning procedures are expensive and time-intensive, requiring healthcare providers to draw from already-dwindling resources and tax overworked nurses and cleaning staff to perform manual cleaning regimens that further exacerbate both challenges.
At the same time, the effectiveness of manual cleaning can differ greatly, influenced by factors like the level of staff training and understanding, issues related to work processes, and how well disinfection procedures are followed.
What’s more, studies frequently find that terminal cleaning completed after a patient leaves is often not done well enough, leaving up to 56 percent of surfaces not properly cleaned. In contrast, strategies focused on improving cleaning methods, educating the cleaning staff, and tracking cleaning practices better can make cleaning more effective. But these efforts take time and resources.
The best solution is automation. Touch-free technologies, like whole-room atomizing disinfection systems, help reduce costs and labor impact without compromising efficacy. While these technologies aren’t meant to replace traditional cleaning methods completely, using them in conjunction with modified manual cleaning procedures can provide an extra level of disinfection throughout the room while introducing critical labor efficiencies.
Here are four ways a whole-room atomizing disinfection system can impact labor efficiency while elevating health and safety protocols in the healthcare environment.
#1 Address the EVS Shortage
Many hospitals and healthcare providers have experienced protracted staffing shortages and hiring challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only does this imperil a critical function in the hospital setting, it increases stress, fatigue, and burnout, which can eventually cause more people to leave the profession. Automation can help break this pernicious cycle.
A whole-room disinfection fogger can be a game-changer in the face of a national shortage of environmental services (EVS) staff. By taking over repetitive tasks, automated fogging systems allow hospitals to reallocate their limited workforce to areas where human expertise is essential, optimizing the use of available personnel and enhancing outcomes across the board.
#2 Save Significant Time
Whole-room atomizing disinfection systems can reduce labor times by up to 64 percent. When hospitals leverage an automated cleaning solution like Nevoa’s Nimbus they implement a workforce multiplier that frees up 30 minutes of manual labor that can be reallocated to other critical priorities.
Unlike UV disinfection systems, which must be repositioned several times in order to adequately disinfect all areas, automated fogging systems like Nimbus free up staff to leave and perform other tasks while the system runs for 30 minutes. There’s no need to stand and wait outside the room before re-entering to reposition the system multiple times, as with UV disinfection.
Likewise, rather than taking the time and effort to disinfect low-touch surfaces, fogging systems like Nimbus from Nevoa achieve 100% surface contact automatically allowing the modification of EVS disinfection protocols to significantly reduce manual cleaning time.
Hospital staff, including nurses and EVS teams, are freed up to spend more time with patients, pursue other responsibilities, or upgrade their skills. It’s a great way to do more with less, especially when talent is difficult to attain.
#3 Alleviate Burnout
Burnout is endemic in the healthcare environment, impacting everyone from clerical staff to hospital executives. It’s especially prevalent among nurses and EVS staff that are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and reeling from staffing shortages.
A whole-room disinfection system can greatly reduce the workload of nurses and EVS staff, who are often tasked with time-consuming and repetitive cleaning tasks. By handling these chores with the simple push of a button, automated foggers help lower the risk of burnout among these vital frontline workers while ensuring that cleaning standards are consistently maintained.
The assurance that an automated system thoroughly and effectively disinfected every part of the room also provides peace of mind that can relieve burnout-causing stress and worry about missing spots and potentially causing harm due to human error.
#4 Enhance Quality Control
In the face of staffing shortages, quality control can become a major issue, especially as high turnover lowers institutional knowledge and the lack of training or experience undermines cleanliness standards.
Automation provides a solution to this problem, ensuring consistent quality of cleaning and disinfection, as automated processes follow exact protocols, minimize the risk of human error and greatly reduce the amount of training that personnel need to be successful.
The automated Nimbus system disinfects treatment rooms in 30 minutes, delivers 100% surface and air contact, and kills up to 99.9999% of HAI-causing pathogens, a level of quality control that is unattainable with manual cleaning alone. In fact, a whole-room atomizing disinfection system provides 300x better disinfection than manual cleaning alone.
Nimbus can disinfect every surface in the room without missing any spots or enabling pathogen transfer (both significant risks with wipes), which allows hospitals to effectively maximize labor output without compromising healthcare outcomes.
Nevoa: Simplifying Automation in Healthcare
The healthcare industry faces significant challenges with HAIs, labor shortages, and burnout among EVS staff. Traditional manual cleaning methods, while essential, are often inefficient and leave room for human error, resulting in a lack of complete disinfection. Streamlining automated disinfection procedures can significantly improve cleaning outcomes, minimize risk, and make the most of your existing workforce.
Beyond its unmatched power of disinfection, Nevoa’s technology is easy to implement, which makes it a practical addition to any healthcare organization. This innovative fogging system requires no major overhaul to your existing operations, making the transition to automated cleaning seamless and straightforward.
The EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant used in Nevoa’s fogger is non-toxic, won’t damage equipment, and allows for immediate room re-entry. This simple whole-room fogging system is a workforce multiplier with far-reaching implications for healthcare providers, their employees, and their patients. Contact us today to discover how simple it is to implement Nevoa’s advanced disinfection system into your healthcare setting to improve labor efficiency.