Cleaning contracts may be harder to win at healthcare facilities right now. But if you can prove your readiness, you could sign a long-term deal.
Even in the best of times, winning cleaning contracts at healthcare facilities is competitive. Understandably, these organizations don’t want to go through the lengthy process of finding and vetting a new commercial cleaning company over and over. It’s a lot of work, and there’s no guarantee that a new company will work to the standards a healthcare facility requires.
When we add COVID-19 to the mix, things get messier. There’s no question the way hospitals and doctors’ offices operate is different than it was. Some dentists and orthodontists are only seeing patients on a limited basis. Other healthcare providers have strict protocols around the way they work.
And there’s also the fact that healthcare facilities had stringent cleaning procedures, to begin with. For commercial cleaning companies, all of this can seem daunting. It’s also a secret weapon in winning valuable contracts.
Janitorial software can help you to create and manage your COVID-19 cleaning plan. Check out a demo of Janitorial Manager today to see how we can help keep your clients safe.
7 Steps to win cleaning contracts at healthcare facilities
Let’s start with some good news: Healthcare facilities will always need professional, high-quality janitorial services. While hospitals will likely have their own in-house services (which, by the way, you can certainly bid on), many stand-alone offices or small group practices hire the same way any other small business does. They get word-of-mouth recommendations, they interview companies, and they hire someone who can meet their needs.
You aren’t limited to traditional medical offices, either. From acupuncture to physical therapy, community health centers, walk-in clinics, labs, pharmacies, and more, there’s a lot you can do to set yourself up to win cleaning contracts with these organizations. Now let’s dig in a little.
1. Background checks. Because healthcare facilities deal with so much personal and private information, it is vital to have clean criminal background checks for everyone on your team. If you can include this in your initial marketing information and bid, that will show your professionalism and preparedness for the job.
2. References. Good references are always an excellent addition, but if you want to work with healthcare facilities, include your best references and glowing reviews in your material. If you don’t have references from healthcare providers, you can still provide references from other professional services, such as lawyers, real estate offices, banks, schools, and so on. While those are ideal, any reference is helpful, so if you don’t have these, supply what you can.
3. Bloodborne pathogen training. OSHA’s bloodborne pathogen training is important in many janitorial situations, but especially so in a healthcare setting. The bloodborne pathogen standard deals with the management of blood, sharps (like needles), and other bodily fluids.
4. Update your insurance. Depending on where you are bidding on cleaning contracts, you might be required to maintain certain levels of business insurance. This may include anything from liability insurance to janitorial bonds. Chances are, healthcare facility management will want proof of appropriate coverage before they sign a contract with you, so if you can include it in your initial packet of information, you’ll be ahead of the game.
All of these are helpful, no matter when you bid on healthcare facility cleaning contracts. Specifically related to COVID-19, however, there are a few more considerations.
5. Familiarize yourself with CDC infection control protocols. The CDC has a lengthy document entitled, Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic. While most of the information won’t impact you or your team directly, it will help you to know what your potential clients are dealing with. And since business relationships are about personal relationships, the more you can connect, the better chance you have of winning bids.
6. Prepare an SOP document. Your SOP (standard operating procedure) around COVID-19 is a critical piece in your efforts to win cleaning contracts in healthcare facilities. This should be a detailed look at all the steps you take to keep your team and your clients safe. Include everything from the proper donning and doffing of PPE (including face masks worn over both the mouth and nose at all times), a list of equipment you use, the types of cleaners you use and your procedures for working with those cleaners, your employee COVID-19 screening, your policies on paid sick time for those showing symptoms of COVID-19, and a sample cleaning checklist.
7. Document regular testing. Provide regular COVID-19 testing for everyone on your healthcare facility cleaning team. Keeping a record of testing and results can show that you take your responsibility seriously, and you’re prepared to work in a healthcare setting.
What to keep in mind as you bid on healthcare facility jobs
Before you submit a bid and sign cleaning contracts, there are some very important things to consider. Cleaning a healthcare facility is not like janitorial work in a retail setting, for example.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Your cleaning checklist will be longer and more detailed.
- You will need to keep thorough documentation.
- You may need to dedicate more people to the job, as healthcare facilities may require faster room turnover.
- You may need to spend more time disposing of medical waste.
- You will likely need more PPE.
- You and your team may need more regular continuing education for dealing with issues that may come up in a healthcare setting.
- You will need additional supplies, since you’ll have higher replacement frequencies (changing mop heads more often, for instance).
This might all seem like a lot to put together and consider. Indeed, it can be. But it’s worth repeating that cleaning contracts with healthcare facilities can be quite lucrative, and if you and your team provide a high-quality service, these can be long-term contracts.
Make sure your cleaning team has the information they need to complete their job accurately and thoroughly. Using a janitorial software like Janitorial Manager can effectively transform your cleaning operation!