Improving Staff Cleaning Compliance For Hospitals

Hospital room

One of the major challenges facing janitorial cleaning services is helping staff maintain a clean environment when the janitorial service is not available.  This is particularly important in hospitals, where the transfer of bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants is a concern.

There are a number of ways that janitorial services can help staff including: creating protocols for handling spills, adding signage to remind staff about hygiene and leaving the appropriate tools in place so staff can clean their work environment.  Janitorial cleaning services can also perform demonstrations to help staff understand how to clean their workspaces appropriately.

This article will provide some information on the risk that healthcare-associated infections pose and how a clean environment reduces that risk.  It will also highlight the role that janitorial cleaning services can play in improving staff cleaning compliance for cleaning medical facilities.

The risk of infections in healthcare environments


The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have published figures that highlight how often dangerous infectious diseases are transmitted in hospitals.  The latest figures show that in the United States on any given day, one in 25 people in a hospital will suffer from a Healthcare-associated infection (HAI).

In 2011, HAIs accounted for 157,500 cases of pneumonia, 123,100 cases of gastrointestinal illnesses, 93,300 urinary tract infections, 71,900 primary bloodstream infections, 157,700 surgical infections and 118,500 other types of infections.

While the number of HAIs has decreased in hospitals in the United States and the UK in recent years, they still remain a significant problem.

Staff compliance with environmental cleaning behaviour

Research published in the medical journal Proceedings (Baylor Medical Centre)examined the environmental cleaning behaviour of staff in medical environments.  The study began by training some staff in improved cleaning techniques. 

Researchers then compared the cleanliness of rooms that were used by trained staff compared to rooms used by untrained staff.  They found that cleanliness was much better in the rooms of staff who had received additional training.  They also found that repeated training sessions led to further improvements.

The improvement in cleanliness also led to a decrease in infections amongst patients.  Over 1000 patient days, there was a drop from 0.27 to 0.21 for clostridium difficile infections, a drop from 0.43 to 0.21 for ventilator-associated infections and a drop from 1.8% to 1.2% for surgical site infections.

This research highlights the importance of training staff on how to maintain clean working environments in hospitals. 

Improving staff cleaning compliance with janitorial services

Hospital cleaning

Janitorial services can play a significant role in maintaining a clean working environment in a medical facility.  Some of the services that can provide include:

  • Designing cleaning guidelines
    Professional janitorial services have a strong understanding of the most effective cleaning techniques for medical facilities.  They can develop cleaning schedules that are to be followed by janitorial services and other hospital staff.  They can also develop procedures for dealing with unexpected cleaning issues like spills.  Trained janitors can also help develop regimes for handling hazardous material like bodily fluids.
  • Implementing those guidelines
    Janitorial services can perform the work described by the cleaning guidelines, ensuring that the medical facility maintains the highest levels of cleanliness and safety.
  • Providing the tools for maintaining a clean environment
    Janitorial cleaning services can provide the cleaning tools and consumables that are required to correctly clean medical environments.  This may include tools like mops, brooms, buckets, squeegees, paper towels, bins for medical waste and various cleaning solutions.
  • Providing hands-on training to staff
    Janitors can provide hands-on training to hospital staff and make sure that staff is using cleaning products in a safe way. 
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of the cleaning regime
    Professional janitors can examine the level of cleaning performed by hospital staff to identify any potential problems or improvements that should be made.



Lilly Ramphal, A. (2014). Improving hospital staff compliance with environmental cleaning behavior. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center), 27(2), 88. Retrieved from

HAI Data and Statistics | HAI | CDC. (2016). Retrieved 16 May 2016, from