Environmental services employees can be crucial to the well-being of your patients and your staff. That is the feature story in the November issue of Medical Environment Update , which specifically looks as training contract workers, developing policies and procedures, establishing day-to-day cleaning procedures, along with tips on identifying high-touch surfaces, cleaning up a spill, and the bleach vs. disinfectant decision. 
Here is an excerpt from that article and a look at what else is covered in November issue.
Even with initiatives such as hand hygiene awareness, respiratory etiquette, and standard and contact precautions hoarding much of the infection control spotlight, environmental cleaning and disinfection have emerged as primary infection prevention sources.
As organisms such as MRSA and C. diff have become an increasing concern for hospitals and outpatient care facilities, environmental services employees have evolved into a critical sector of infection control and worker safety.
“There is this understanding and acceptance and recognition and respect that environmental services technicians are the front line of infection prevention,” says Patti Costello, executive director of the American Society of Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES). “You’re only as good as your weakest link, so the better your training, the better your communication with infection control, and the better the relationship between environmental services and the infection control professional, the stronger your environmental services program is going to be.”
However, their increased importance in preventing infections means more training requirements for infection control policies and OSHA compliance.
The Medical Environment Update  November issue also includes:
- OSHA news on mandatory flu shots and the the proposed adoption of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
- General and bloodborne pathogens OSHA violations by practices size and facility type 
- Quick self-inspection checklist on how mock inspections make for good compliance
- An H1N1 rap video that gives winning advice  and signs to keep your vaccine refrigerator running 
- 13 Ask the expert Q&As, twitter style
- A special report: Checking In on Safety and Health: Ten Essential OSHA Checklists for Medical, Dental, and Other Ambulatory Care Settings
- An update to your OSHA manual on service animal policy