Damian Belvedere, account manager for Healthcare Services Group, manages environmental services at Miller County Hospital in Colquitt, GA. His staff of 50 cleans three facilities that comprise a hospital with a 24-hour emergency room and a nursing home.
Belvedere's staff previously cleaned VCT floors in the hospital and wood-look vinyl floors in the nursing home with brooms and dust mops prior to mopping or scrubbing with an auto scrubber. For carpeted offices and walk-off mats, they used upright vacuums. Then Belvedere was asked to test the GoFree® Flex Pro cordless backpack vacuum from ProTeam® and report his results.
Belvedere put the GoFree Flex Pro to work in the hospital hallways and lobby — areas that he felt needed better floor care than they were getting with his existing tools.
"With dust mops and brooms, we never got it all up. Sweeping would sweep dust into the air, and the dust mops would get overloaded and leave dust bunnies behind," said Belvedere. "The GoFree Flex Pro makes a huge difference in the quality of clean. We don’t have dust bunnies anymore."
The hospital hallways and lobby used to take an hour and a half to clean with a broom, dustpan, and dust mop. The GoFree Flex Pro cut that time in half. Its Lithium Ion battery with approximate 75-minute runtime allows the cleaning staff to apply the cleaning power of a backpack vacuum in an area without available power outlets. The cordless backpack vacuum is also easier to maneuver around occupants, the nurses’ portable computers, and other medical equipment lining the walls.
"The next day when we have to vacuum, there’s not as much to vacuum up. We're doing a more efficient job," said Belvedere. "The cleanliness keeps improving and improving. I estimate that we won’t have to wax the floors as often; they aren't getting as worn down."
The GoFree Flex Pro was also applied to seven four-by-six-foot walk-off mats around the hospital. The mats took 25 to 30 minutes to vacuum with upright vacuums. The GoFree Flex Pro whittled that time down to 10 to 15 minutes and cleaned without presenting the tripping hazard of a cord in areas with 24-hour foot traffic.
"Not only were the cleaners lugging around an upright to vacuum the mats, but they had to bring a warning sign. Then when someone walked by, they would have to stop and pull the cord aside," said Belvedere. "Eliminating the safety concern of a cord makes the job much faster and easier."
Over at the nursing home, it took an hour and 15 minutes to clean with the old tools. With the cordless backpack vacuum, the hospital's cleaning staff can vacuum the same area 30 minutes faster. For Belvedere, removing more soil and dust helps to fulfill his mission by creating a healthier indoor environment.
"Dust carries infection. It's our job to prevent the spread of infection," said Belvedere. "Dust is our enemy. If we can eliminate dust, we're winning the battle."
The cleaners who use the cordless backpack vacuum have reported to Belvedere that it saves time in unexpected ways. For example, when they used the auto scrubber after sweeping and dust mopping, they would have to frequently stop to clean soil buildup off of the squeegee blade. After vacuuming with the GoFree Flex Pro, the floors are much cleaner, and soil no longer builds up on the blade, which considerably speeds up the scrubbing process.
Overall the test of the GoFree Flex Pro in three areas, the hospital hallways and lobby, the hospital walk-off mats, and the nursing home, saved 90 minutes of cleaning time a day. Belvedere's staff can then apply that time to improving their service with detailing cleaning and project work, or they could reduce labor costs by a total of $4,380 annually assuming an eight-dollar hourly wage and year-round daily cleaning.
"The GoFree Flex Pro is well worth the cost," said Belvedere. "There are so many things that we can use it for."
- Doubles productivity for hospital lobby, hallways, and walk-off mats
- Nets labor savings of 90 minutes a day or $4,380 annually (assuming an $8/hour wage and year-round daily cleaning)
- Reduces dust bunnies and soil residue on floors
- Does not trigger decibel meters in the hospital hallways
The GoFree Flex Pro is nominated for an ISSA Innovation Award. Vote at www.issa.com/vote.