Cleaning breakthrough at local hospital

By WEEK Producer

June 14, 2012 Updated Jun 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- The environmental services staff always works hard cleaning the rooms at Methodist Medical Center. But thanks to some new technology the hospital is using they're more thorough than ever.

"We can go back and do a visual evidenced-based inspection and we can tell if the room is clean," said Alice Price, the director of support services at Methodist.

Its called Dazo and was developed by the company Ecolab.

Seventeen critical touch points identified by the Centers for Disease Control are dotted with an invisible flourescent chemical before cleaning staff goes to work in a room. When they're done cleaning a small black light is used to see if the chemical is still present. If it is the room fails inspection.

"It's a lot of pressure but it keeps the germs down for the patients," said Diana Marquardt, a member of the hospital's environmental services staff. "That's our most important thing is our patients."

Contact points are areas like light switches and door handles. And Marquardt says keyboards are a magnet for germs and bacteria.

Methodist Medical Center is one of 9 hospitals in the region using Dazo. The hospital's manager of environmental services says since they employed it about 6 months ago the results have been an eye opener.

"The first quarter results we had three areas that were in the yellow," said Rob Folck. "The second quarter results came out last week and we were green in every area. In other words, all the areas were in the 90-percent level."

Marquardt says the science has helped make her better at her job.

"It used to be you'd come in and you'd know you washed it. But now you've got to make sure those dots are off so you are scrubbing it harder," said Marquardt.

Results are stored on a small hand held device helping the Methodist environmental services staff in their quest to achieve a spotless record.