Fighting Germs And Saving Lives In Hospitals Across Canada
Prevention and Treatment If 20 fully-loaded 747s with 8,000 people onboard dropped from the sky each year in Canada, there would be outrage and demands that something be done. Well, that’s the same number of Canadians that die annually from hospital-acquired infections.
he numbers are even more staggering. According to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, more than 220,000 Canadians get a hospital-acquired infection each year. The impact is significant: premature death, prolonged hospitalization, and expensive treatments to fight the infections.
Barley Chironda, a nurse by background, and now the National Healthcare Sales Director and Infection Control Specialist at Clorox Canada, knows how critical this issue is. “I worked in hospitals and recognized then that there were opportunities for hospitals and health care facilities to be cleaned better,” he says. “In my role as an infection prevention and control specialist in the hospital, I started engaging and listening to the cleaning staff and began using Clorox products. We were able to significantly reduce infection rates.”
“Our goal is to work with health care providers to find solutions that improve patient outcomes."
Chironda joined Clorox because he felt he had more to contribute in the quest to reduce hospital-acquired infections. He was inspired by a shift that happened within the company where the focus was less about selling a product and walking away, to one that is more vested in being a partner with patients and health care providers. “Our entire focus is on the patient and what’s best for them,” he says. “Our customer is not the person that purchases our products, but the person lying in that hospital bed.”
Chironda has a hands-on approach to his job and is heavily involved in training and education with patients and health care staff, and says patients and families need to be involved in their own care. He encourages patients to engage with cleaning staff, which are part of the care team, and ask questions on how the hospital room is being cleaned. He adds that families will often bring lots of things into a patient’s room, which while well-meaning can actually make cleaning the room properly more difficult.
Other industries, such as aviation, have grappled with issues of safety in the past. Now there are stringent safety measures in place and passengers are led through briefings when they board a plane. Passengers know what their role is. This level of scrutiny doesn’t happen in health care.
Clorox had mastered the art of cleaning the home and a move into health care just made sense. “Our goal is to work with health care providers to find solutions that improve patient outcomes,” says Chironda.