eCommons

DigitalCollections@ILR
ILR School
 

Superbugs Versus Outsourced Cleaners: Employment Arrangements and the Spread of Health Care-Associated Infections

Other Titles

Abstract

On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients in the United States has a health care–associated infection (HAI) that the patient contracts as a direct result of his or her treatment. Fortunately, the spread of most HAIs can be halted through proper disinfection of surfaces and equipment. Consequently, cleaners—“environmental services” (EVS) in hospital parlance—must take on the important task of defending hospital patients (as well as staff and the broader community) from the spread of HAIs. Despite the importance of this task, hospitals frequently outsource this function, increasing the likelihood that these workers are under-rewarded, undertrained, and detached from the organization and the rest of the care team. As a result, the outsourcing of EVS workers could have the unintended consequence of increasing the incidence of HAIs. The authors demonstrate this relationship empirically, finding support for their theory by using a self-constructed data set that marries infection data to structural, organizational, and workforce features of California’s general acute care hospitals. The study thus advances the literature on nonstandard work arrangements—outsourcing in particular—while sounding a cautionary note to hospital administrators and health care policymakers.

Journal / Series

Volume & Issue

Description

Sponsorship

Date Issued

2017-05-01

Publisher

Keywords

outsourcing; externalization; employment arrangements; employment relations; labor relations; industrial relations; health care; hospitals; infections; health care–associated infections; hospital-acquired infections; HAIs; Clostridium difficile (C. diff.)

Location

Effective Date

Expiration Date

Sector

Employer

Union

Union Local

NAICS

Number of Workers

Committee Chair

Committee Co-Chair

Committee Member

Degree Discipline

Degree Name

Degree Level

Related Version

Related DOI

Related To

Related Part

Based on Related Item

Has Other Format(s)

Part of Related Item

Related To

Related Publication(s)

Link(s) to Related Publication(s)

References

Link(s) to Reference(s)

Previously Published As

Government Document

ISBN

ISMN

ISSN

Other Identifiers

Rights

Required Publisher Statement: © Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Rights URI

Types

article

Accessibility Feature

Accessibility Hazard

Accessibility Summary

Link(s) to Catalog Record