QR Code Enhances Hospital Cleaning Services

A hospital system in N.J. now offers patients and visitors a new, convenient way to request cleaning services.

QR code
Photo: Adobe Stock

Cleaning is a top-of-mind concern for any building, but especially for hospitals. Ensuring that spaces are cleaned and disinfected is of the upmost importance in a hospital setting.

Now, patients at CarePoint Health facilities in New Jersey can scan a QR and directly request a room cleaning and other services in their rooms.

The new offering from Sodexo allows patients to hold off using the nurse call button and reserve it for medical needs only. The new system cuts down on interruptions in care and allows nurses and medical staff to focus on treating their patients—while increasing cleaning responsiveness and satisfaction.

Services include:
• Requests of bathroom cleaning
• Room refreshes
• Tray pickup
• Removal of hazardous materials and waste

To learn more about the QR code system and how it works, Facility Executive spoke with Kenneth Benson, Multi Service General Manager at Sodexo.

FE: Can you provide some background on this new QR code system?

Kenneth Benson: The program is called Always Clean QR Codes for Environmental Services. We were looking to improve both patient and nursing satisfaction, while also decreasing turnaround time for job tasks that are needed throughout the facility. We met with the company that had the technology to support our vision. We then started planning how we should approach implementing the program and how we could make it user- friendly.

On June 6th, we started a pilot program on one unit at all CarePoint Health Hospitals in Hudson County, N.J. We decided to go with the unit that had the highest patient turnover. The Sodexo ES managers at each facility were given QR Codes for placement in the unit and hung them on the on the wall at the foot of the bed so QR codes would be visible to patients, visitors, and staff. We educated our ES staff and the nursing staff on the unit about the program. While we were trialing the program, we looked for feedback to evaluate and learn about efficiencies before deploying to all patient rooms. Data and feedback were collected from each facility. The data and feedback collected provided a formula for processes for full deployment in patient rooms on August 16.

[Once] QR codes are scanned, [patients can choose] from nine options to the create the job that needs attention. The housekeeper assigned to the zone will get the job through their handheld device. The employees know that miscellaneous jobs will need to be closed within 30 minutes, and bed cleans are set for 60 minutes (both are national benchmarks for turnaround times).

FE: What is the process like to implement this technology? 

Benson: IT has its barriers when trying implement QR Codes. You will need to work side by side with the Hospital IT department and TDSS. They will need to assure that Patient Health Information (PHI) is protected at all times.

Continuous education and driving awareness are key to the implementation of the QR codes and how the program works.

FE: What has the reaction been like from hospital patients and staff?

Benson: The staff has been very excited about the new technology. A lot of the feedback provided was positive.

FE: What does the future hold for this technology? Do you foresee this kind of cleaning system being applied in other industries, such as in office buildings, for hospitality, etc.?

Benson: We have six phases of implementing the QR codes that will cover all areas in each facility. I don’t know about office buildings, but healthcare facilities will benefit from this program.

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