How i-mops are transforming cleaning and safety in aged-care homes
In this Q&A, Estia Health’s Head of Hospitality & Lifestyle Justin Wilshaw discusses the impact of COVID-19 on aged-care cleaning and why the i-mop has been a gamechanger for the business.
We’re one of Australia’s largest aged-care providers, with a total of 68 homes across four states – New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. We have a proud heritage of providing quality aged care across Australia for almost 50 years.
There’s no doubt that the pandemic has created a challenging environment for residential aged care in the past couple of years. From a cleaning perspective, however, we’ve managed the transition smoothly. Estia Health already had very strong outbreak procedures within our homes to deal with issues such as influenza, gastroenteritis and other diseases that can spread. With COVID-19, we have taken those outbreak procedures to even higher levels.
The key has been to make sure that high touchpoint areas are cleaned even more frequently than before, especially in areas where care teams regularly move throughout our homes.
We’re using i-mops all over the country, and we chose them for three main reasons. First, we need to make sure, especially for common area hallways, dining rooms and the like where we have vinyl floors, that we can clean the vinyl well, but not too abrasively. We use wood-grain vinyl in our homes and have to get into the little grooves and extract the dirt. The i-mop does that really well. A traditional scrubbing machine can be quite abrasive and damage the floor. i-mops are also light and very easy to use, which is ideal because we have an older workforce. We can’t use a big, heavy piece of equipment.
Second, safety is crucial in our homes. With a traditional mop there’s a lot of water on the floors and that can result in slips, trips and falls that can be devastating for people’s health. The i-mop can clean the floor effectively, but it leaves the surface very dry.
The third reason is productivity. The i-mop can work three times faster than a mop and bucket in congested spaces, and up to nine time faster in open spaces such as corridors. This allows our cleaners to spend more time cleaning touchpoints and residents’ rooms.
Yes. Cleaning staff really appreciate the investment in high-quality new equipment. In the past, they might have had to use old mops and vacuum cleaners that would be used until they died. Cleaners really like using products that make their job easier, safer and more efficient.
We meet regularly with i-team representatives to review our relationship and discuss new cleaning products that may be coming out. Then we test and evaluate any products we are looking to introduce. It’s a real partnership. And i-team are very diligent with service calls and ensuring any equipment is kept up to a high operating standard. Having a clean environment in our aged-care homes is important for Estia Health and i-team’s reputation.
We’ve been partnering with i-team for some years now and I’m very happy to recommend them.
COVID-19 has brought cleaning to the forefront of people’s minds. At Estia Health, we had a very robust infection-cleaning control process before the pandemic. Now the focus has switched to touchpoints and ensuring that other areas such as floors, curtains and windows can be cleaned as quickly, efficiently and hygienically as possible. We’ve responded quickly to look after our staff and residents.