In some ways, it is business as usual. In many ways, it is an entirely new world.
Before coronavirus turned our world upside, an unassuming team of seventy environmental services associates kept the rooms and hallways of Doylestown Hospital clean and tidy with little fanfare. Once the global pandemic struck, this same team of seventy people suddenly found themselves on the frontline—providing the vital sanitization services necessary to keep patients, visitors and staff safe, and allowing for the business of healthcare to resume securely.
As outpatient and other healthcare services resume, Doylestown Health has ensured safety through enhancements to existing procedures, and all-new protocols to protect all who enter our buildings.
Environmental Services Director, Tom Alexandrowicz, explains that the same 7-step cleaning process that has always been the standard for cleaning remains the same. This process includes daily sanitizing of walls and surfaces (with an emphasis on "high touch" areas such as bed rails, bedside tables, call buttons and door handles), dusting and mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, emptying trash, high dusting and restocking supplies, and inspecting for any needed repairs or corrections.
What has changed in the era of COVID-19 is the intensity and frequency of cleaning, as well as the type of disinfectants used in cleaning to kill the coronavirus. All areas of the Hospital, including patient rooms and public areas, are sanitized using an EPA approved high-level disinfectant. The Environmental Services team members clean public spaces three times a day, focusing on areas most at risk for harboring and spreading infection such as chairs, elevators, waiting rooms and restrooms.
Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), germicidal disposable wipes that kill coronavirus in three minutes are used on diagnostic equipment before and after every use. Individual department associates continually clean chairs and other surfaces of waiting areas within their departments.
As an added level of disinfection in isolation discharges and procedural areas, Environmental Services uses two pulsed xenon machines that emit an ultraviolet (UV) light. The use of UV disinfection technology has been found to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections.
Reorganization of Physical Space
In addition to intensified cleaning measures, Matt Costello, Senior Executive Director of Hospital Operations, explains that changes to public spaces have been made with safety in mind. Changes include:
- Outpatient services appointments have been spread-out to reduce the number of patients in an area at any one time
- The visitor policy has been updated to minimize foot traffic
- Furniture has been rearranged in waiting and dining areas to increase distancing
- Floor markings in waiting rooms and food lines make social distancing easier
- All food and drink are served in to-go containers. There is no self-serve food or drink option
- Sanitizing wipes are available to disinfect dining tables after each use
Safety is our highest priority. Thanks to the commitment of the environmental services team and others, you can trust that Doylestown Health is a reliable, safe place to receive the care you need—today and every day.
About Doylestown Health
Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health has 271 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.