Customer Success Story: University of Notre Dame

Challenge 

The University of Notre Dame has just over 10 million square feet of building space, with more currently under construction. About 80% of the undergraduate population lives on campus across 29 residence halls, and roughly 750 student-athletes practice and compete in more than 15 university facilities.   

With more than 8,500 students and over 5,000 faculty and staff members on campus, it can be a challenge to control the spread of infection. If high-touch surfaces in areas such as locker rooms and shared residence hall bathrooms are not properly disinfected, infections and viruses such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), norovirus and influenza can easily spread from person to person. Outbreaks can keep students from performing their best academically and athletically, and tarnish a university’s reputation.

Recently, Notre Dame’s Building Services Department replaced a building services contractor (BSC) in several athletics buildings with the goal of improving the consistency and quality of cleaning. The department developed cleaning for health standards and, as part of that initiative, worked to identify easy-to-use and effective solutions that would protect student health without damaging surfaces.

They also wanted a program that would be easy for their diverse workforce to implement, and thus needed simple, multi-lingual training solutions to improve quality and cleaning compliance.

“The most important thing to us is to protect our students and other constituents,” said Chris Hatfield, director for Building Services at Notre Dame. “The last thing we would want is for our students, staff or visitors to be impacted by an outbreak. That’s why cleaning high-touch surfaces and eliminating the spread of germs is important not only in athletic facilities but also in residence and academic areas.”

Solution

Notre Dame Building Services turned to Diversey for guidance on its cleaning and disinfection program. To help manage outbreak risks, we recommended our Oxivir® and Alpha-HP® Disinfectant Cleaners, which are powered by Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP®).

AHP is a synergistic blend of commonly used, safe ingredients and low levels of hydrogen peroxide that delivers excellent cleaning and disinfection performance with realistic contact times. The disinfectant cleaners are gentle for users and surfaces, with the lowest possible hazard rating, making them ideal for use on a wide variety of surfaces and equipment.

The active ingredient also breaks down into oxygen and water after use, helping Notre Dame achieve its sustainability objectives.

The Building Services “Tools and Rules Committee,” which consists of about 40 employees who help guide decisions on equipment, chemicals and procedures, reviewed the accelerated hydrogen peroxide products and were impressed. Oxivir wipes are stationed in key areas such as weight rooms and residence halls, with additional supplies kept in storage for use should an outbreak occur.

Building Services also implemented our Learning Management System (LMS), which allows for customizable online training in multiple languages. Employees use LMS to view presentations on infection prevention, infection control and disinfection procedures. To supplement this online training, Building Services also provides hands-on demonstrations and practice to guide learning and ensure employees know which product is best for the task at hand.

“We educate employees about cleaning and disinfection chemistries and make sure they understand the importance of dwell time so that high-touch surfaces such as doors and locker handles stay wet for the required time,” added Hatfield. “When employees like a product, we know that they are more likely to use it correctly and at the desired frequency, improving overall appearance and taking every step to prevent infection.”

Results

Building Services is now tasked with maintaining about 75% of the campus square footage. AHP-powered products are being used in more than 100 buildings and have provided numerous benefits, including:

Infection prevention

  • Implementing AHP products with shorter and more realistic contact times that employees enjoy using can help improve compliance, and therefore infection prevention. AHP-powered products combat numerous threats that may affect students, including blood borne pathogens, MRSA, norovirus and viruses such as the common cold and flu. 

A cleaner appearance

  • Employees’ enthusiasm for the products has improved overall appearance. For example, hard water had left stains on showers and grout. After using Alpha-HP Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner, build-up has been removed, making restrooms look and feel cleaner. 

Time savings

  • The AHP products remove dirt and grime without leaving a residue on surfaces. They have short contact times, allowing for fast one-step cleaning and disinfection.

Protection of people and assets

  • In comparison to other high performing disinfectants, which are often toxic, hydrogen peroxide, a main ingredient in AHP, breaks down into water and oxygen during use. It’s tough on pathogens without being harmful to users, students, surfaces or equipment. 

Reduced waste and costs

  • An effective product means staff won’t have to reapply the product to achieve the desired results. Many of the products are delivered in dilution control systems which help eliminate waste and improper mixing and reduce spending on chemicals.

“From learning materials to chemicals, Diversey has been a great partner,” said Hatfield.  “Diversey has played a critical role in improving the appearance, health and safety in buildings across campus.”

University of Notre Dame uses infection prevention to keep students, athletes and staff safe