- 4 May 2021 2:58 PM
We asked Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi about this framework agreement - if hospitals have the opportunity to organize the cleaning service themselves, so they do not have to call this central option.
However, there is a change in the need to meet new, uniform and higher standards in the field of hygiene, and according to him, everyone will win – wrote portfolio.hu.
With the change in the procurement structure for publicly funded hospitals in 2020, meaning that they can only be implemented through central tenders (DG Procurement and Supply), a new tool has come into the hands of health managers.
An important milestone for this was the HUF 300 billion tender announced in December last year, in the framework of which the KEF expected bids for full-scale daily, periodic, large and occasional cleaning and disinfection services for 372 sites of 107 inpatient specialist care institutions.
The importance of the centralized project stems not only from its gigantic size (since, potentially, if all the institutions involved called for it, we are talking about 3.6 million square meters of affected area), but also from the fact thatthat, if implemented, a uniform quality in terms of cleanliness and disinfection may appear in public hospitals.
The importance of this is supported by the fact that, in the period before the coronavirus epidemic, nosocomial infections were also regular.
New world, uniform quality in hygiene
B + N Zrt. Won the tender of this serious size and significance. At the request of the company’s CEO, Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, he explained that it is a framework contract, which means in practice that hospitals can call on this activity, but it is not obligatory for them.
In other words, institutions still have a choice: they employ their own staff to carry out cleaning and hygiene activities, or they contract with an external company. However, after the tender, a significant change took place: from now on, the institution can no longer determine the technical content of the activity, as the state, through the central procurer, has set uniform criteria.
“There are 107 types of hygiene in 107 types of hospitals in Hungary today, which is very bad. This is bad for both patients and those who work indoors, but the new system will make a difference, ”the company manager stressed. This is not to say that which institution organizes the cleaning activity itself will do it wrong, but to say that the quality of service provided in each institution will be different.
To our suggestion as to what professionally justifies the outsourcing of cleaning and hygiene activities, Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, CEO of the company, replied that an external contractor whose main profile is presumably has more experience.
It is not necessary to detail why health care institutions are special places in Hungary: life-saving, healing, human lives are decided in 0-24.
Accordingly, there are also unique considerations in ensuring their hygiene. At the company that wins the tender, they admit that their employees are almost doing professional work and that managing and supervising their work is also a profession.
(The number of employees of the company is currently around 6,000, with whom FM operators, cleaning and FM activities are performed on more than 6 million square meters at 3,000 sites.)
The head of the company also noted that today, 107 public hospitals have a high proportion of support staff in addition to medical and nursing staff in Europe. This also raises efficiency issues.
It is also extremely important to maintain standards for hospital hygiene. Otherwise, healthcare institutions would run an extra risk and run the risk of infection.
“Non-compliance with cleaning processes and unaccounted for quality will degrade hospital hygiene processes,” stressed the company’s first man, who said this would change with the current tender.
This is because performance, quality will be measurable and the service provider must meet the same expectations in all institutions.
After the coronavirus epidemic, the need for orderly hygiene in hospitals is increasing.
The head of the company also revealed to our interest that at the time of the virus outbreak, 460 of their colleagues worked in hospitals, and today they still work in the ward affected by Covid infection. Of these, only seven became ill and all seven were healed.
“The reason for this, and this is a positive message for all people, is that those who adequately protect themselves against the coronavirus that spreads through droplet infection and follow hygiene rules can avoid infection,” said Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi.
Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi: apples with apples
The technical content of the cleaning activity will be different from now on as a result of the tender, but the question may arise as to how this relates to the costs of the outsourced service, which justifies this seemingly huge amount of HUF 300 billion.
Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi answered our question in this regard that the tender was issued for 3 + 1 years and allows a framework agreement (to be called or not by the hospital).
With this, the company assumes that this activity can be implemented from an average of HUF 70-73 billion a year, if the external service activity is outsourced by all 107 institutions involved.
He also recalled that the new system would not come into force simultaneously in the 107 institutions, as hospitals still typically have a contract with a service company to carry out this activity.
By the way, B + N Zrt. was also present and is already present in this market: in several major healthcare institutions (Uzsoki Hospital, Nyírő Gyula Hospital, Military Hospital, South Pest Central Hospital, Kútvölgyi Hospital, Kiskunhalas Semmelweis Hospital) cleaning and disinfection of general patient care areas, areas of special risk of infection and areas of high risk of infection.
To our suggestion on how much the new solution will make cleaning activity more expensive, the CEO considered it important to highlight that apples should be compared to apples. Thanks to the new system and the much higher technical content.
Huge changes are taking place in hospitals in terms of hygiene quality
“There can be a leap in the quality of cleaning in institutions like when we switched from a landline to a mobile phone,” the CEO noted, adding that completely different capabilities are developing for hospitals.
He also gave an example that it doesn’t matter what we compare when looking at the content of the service. So far, for example, it has been determined to have a cleaner in a department.
The new method also determines the area of the hygiene class in which a cleaner can cover.
For example, you can save only 500 square feet on an intensive care unit, 700 square feet on a mid-range class, and 900 square feet on a general-grade site. By way of illustration, he noted: the same ratio in the office market is 1,500 square meters. Similarly, new standards must now be met for disinfectants.
It also appears as a new element that the so-called for final disinfection, two cleaners (with appropriate knowledge and equipment) must be present in certain departments of the institutions at 0-24 hours.
This type of disinfection usually occurs when, regardless of the coronavirus situation, an infected person appears, for example, in an emergency department. Previously, this disinfection had to wait up to hours because the institution did not have the capacity.
We can meet new robots in hospitals
When cleaning large cohesive surfaces, we are close to the spread of robots here , the CEO said. We will take a robot to every hospital we go to, he sensed. Robots are not only needed to replace the workforce, but the company also plans to play an important role in passively collecting information and data about infections, leading to certification and evaluation of service quality.
He cited infection data from wastewater as an example. Based on measured data, we also want to work in healthcare institutions, he said. The company, by the way, has its own 15-person research and development team, which currently focuses on creating and operating robots.
Everyone will feel the benefits – emphasized Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi
The first person in the company also discussed the benefits of the new solution for those involved in healthcare (such as the state organizing the care, the patient in use, and the patient care staff).
According to him, the state should invest in it for several reasons:
- it is in its interest that the quality of health care be of the highest standard and be the same in all institutions,
- as a result, the number of over-infections in the institution is expected to decrease,
- this means less medicine, shorter care times and fewer patients,
- that is, the maintenance and operation of the health care system may become cheaper,
- greater cleaning capacity in operating rooms, resulting in better operating room utilization,
- although there is a future plan, it is forward-looking that some surgeries and interventions may take less time, as they will be disinfected and cleaned with a new method (UV lamp) (not with a chemical that has an exposure time), which can improve operating room utilization and institutional efficiency.
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