As the flagship of mid-Michigan’s premier health care organization, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, Mich., leads the way toward greener operations in the health care industry while providing quality care to tens of thousands of people each year. The regional medical center has received numerous distinctions that recognize the facility’s commitment to environmentally responsible health care, including two consecutive Sustained H2E Leadership Awards from Hospitals for a Healthy Environment.
Given Sparrow’s strong commitment to green cleaning, it comes as no surprise that the hospital values a pest management company that can contribute to their overall goal of becoming 100 percent green. An Orkin customer since 2002, the relationship between Sparrow and Orkin Commercial Services began when the hospital staff noticed a fruit and drain fly problem that their current pest control provider couldn’t eliminate.
“Sparrow was in the midst of making the switch to green products when the fruit and drain fly problem occurred,” said Sparrow Director of Environmental Services Reza Tavakoli. “Orkin really came to the rescue with fly light units and OE-30, an organic drain cleaner, because they eliminated the pest issue and fulfilled our requirement of being Green Seal certified.”
Since then, the partnership between Sparrow and Orkin has grown along with the hospital’s commitment to providing a healthy environment. Since implementing a green cleaning program doesn’t just mean converting to all green products, Sparrow is in the midst of building the hospital’s first green tower, using mostly brick and block to make it energy efficient. Orkin works with the engineering department to make sure the construction doesn’t affect the surrounding surgical rooms.
“With all the construction that’s going on, certain parts of the hospital are more susceptible to pests,” said Orkin Pest Specialist Joshua Genther. “We work together with the hospital’s engineering department on exclusion techniques such as caulking and meshing, which prevent ants and rodents from entering the facility.”
Orkin also partners with the hospital’s cleaning staff to implement a monthly cleaning routine. Each month a member of the cleaning staff removes drain covers in surgical areas and emergency rooms and scrapes the build-up of dirt and grime from the sides of the drains. This allows Genther to pour OE-30 easily into the drains during service visits without residue getting in the way. Genther also monitors and inspects to make sure there are no cleaning issues around the hospital by documenting all cleaning activities and treatments on a chart and reporting any issues to Sparrow.
“Orkin does a great job of communicating with various departments in the hospital to make sure that the pest management program is exceeding our expectations,” said Tavakoli. “Sparrow knows that Orkin has the hospital’s best interest in mind, so we try to make it easy for our Orkin Man to do his job.”
Doctors aren’t the only ones on-call at Sparrow Hospital. In addition to Orkin’s 24-hour call center, the healthcare facility can reach Genther on his cell phone 24-hours a day if an emergency arises. This guarantees an immediate response, which is critical in health care environments.
“Orkin’s main goal is to make sure that Sparrow can concentrate on their patients and not bug problems,” said Genther. “The hospital upholds their end of the partnership, and because of their cooperation, we are able to alleviate problems quickly and easily.”
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