Safe and Sanitized Environment is Foundational for Health

people cleaning an office

Creating a culture where infection prevention practices become universal in all activities is the focus for Project Firstline (PFL), a national training collaborative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Routine cleaning and disinfecting practices are important for protecting public health, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem proclaimed March 26 – April 1, 2023, as Cleaning Week.

South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Melissa Magstadt joined in celebrating those who protect South Dakotans from unwanted contact with germs.

South Dakota Secretary of Health Melissa Magstadt

South Dakota Secretary of Health Melissa Magstadt

“The importance of those who keep us sanitized and safe as both patients and providers is often times forgotten and taken for granted. And yet, when health care gets boiled down to its foundations, it is about safe and sanitized environments to deliver health care in, at its core. No matter what type of health care is being delivered.

More than once, patients have remarked to me on the kindness and consideration of the employees who stopped in to clean the room. They were friendly, and visited with them, and made them feel welcome in our facilities. These folks are doing critical work, and they do it graciously and tirelessly, understanding they have a high calling and critical contribution to health care.”

SDFMC is encouraging community and health care organizations to join the Cleaning Week celebration by posting cleaning photos and quotes about why cleaning matters to the SDFMC Facebook page using #SDFMC #SDPFL #ISSA. In addition, a Cleaning Week Recognition Certificate is available to celebrate the individuals who provide cleaning and disinfection services.

Every industry uses cleaning practices, and Cleaning Week is an opportunity to highlight regular cleaning and disinfection as a health and safety investment. Nearly three in five people are more aware of surface cleanliness when they are out in public, and over health of those surveyed say that they would be more likely to frequent a business if it provided evidence of proper disinfection.

Combining PFL resources with proactive on-site infection control assessment and response (ICARS) visits have allowed the SDFMC team to share best practices and training with healthcare facilities throughout the state. The environmental service team is at the center of preventing infection and protecting everyone entering the facility by using strong cleaning and disinfection practices. 

Cheri Fast, RN, WOCN, CIC, LTC-CIP, healthcare acquired infection program manager for SDFMC summarized the value, “The pandemic demonstrated the essential role cleaning professionals have for keeping infection rates down. Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, when combined with hand hygiene, reduces virus concentrations by 85.4%. Cleanliness is an everyday essential to protect every person in every home and every public space.”