EVS for Hospitals & the Fight Against HAIs
What goes up must come down. This rule of gravity means that even the lightest weight airborne particles that are not breathed in by humans or pets land on a surface. When these particles are viruses or other pathogens transferred from surfaces to humans in a hospital, they can cause healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). The responsibility for stopping this transfer of infectious droplets falls largely on hospital environmental services (EVS) professionals
The High Cost of HAIs
HAIs account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99 thousand deaths annually. No wonder they are a leading cause of patient stress when it comes to an upcoming or current hospital stay!
In addition to the danger of patient illness and death, HAIs mean extended hospital stays for patients and slower recovery times, both of which can prove costly for patients and the healthcare facility. To help reduce the occurrence of HAIs, in 2009, the U.S. federal government reduced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals with higher incidences of HAIs.
HAIs & the Role of EVS for Hospitals
Most often, HAIs are transmitted by:
- High-touch surfaces, such as bed rails, call buttons, or TV remotes that are subsequently touched by other patients or healthcare workers
- Contaminated reusable patient care equipment—everything from wheelchairs and walkers to toilets and furniture
- Healthcare workers transmit pathogens from patient to patient via their contaminated hands or clothing.
Preventing the patient-to-patient transmission of HAIs is where the right EVS provider can play a significant role. This role includes ensuring EVS workers follow specific infection-prevention processes and protocols established for hospital cleaning services by such entities as the CDC and The Joint Commission. Yet there are other, less obvious ways EVS for hospitals can help in the battle against HAIs.
By communicating and collaborating with hospital staff in other departments, EVS can play a significant role in reducing HAIs while helping these departments meet their patient satisfaction, throughput, and other goals. For example, working in tandem with emergency department (ED) staff, EVS providers can develop a system for ED to notify EVS workers when patients are being prepared for discharge or admission into the hospital. This enables EVS to have workers ready and waiting to clean the vacated ED area without losing valuable time tracking down workers and transporting equipment after the fact.
Similarly, ED staff can notify the EVS provider when a large emergency ensues to enable the provider to notify available staff and collect other resources to help move patients through the department more expediently while maintaining infection-prevention standards.
Another department EVS providers can work closely with is nursing. EVS supervisors can meet with nursing staff at the start of each shift to determine when patients may be discharged. This advance notice can help ensure EVS staff and resources are available to thoroughly clean the room promptly once it is empty. This can also improve the hospital’s overall throughput rates without compromising quality.
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Data & Analytics
A cleaning tracking program that includes mapping and analytics can help ensure cleaning and disinfecting quality, thereby reducing HAIs while enhancing patient confidence that the hospital is clean, safe, and healthy. A cleaning tracking program, such as CrowdComfort, provides EVS for hospitals with many valuable features and benefits, such as:
- Real-time tracking of cleaning by type, location, and staff
- Complete cleaning compliance documentation
- Historical reporting and audit trail by location, time, personnel, and compliance standards
- Flexibility—quickly updatable data to respond to changing needs, assignments, and scope of work
- Near real-time map and on-site digital signage to show cleaning frequency and thoroughness
- Full customization capabilities to meet unique cleaning needs.
Another tracking technology that the best healthcare EVS use is a software system that records the frequency, location, and quality of cleaning performed. One such program, SmartInspect, allows EVS for hospitals to:
- Collect and record data in real time
- Gather data including site variables, such as building, floor, and zone
- Associate the data with the specific area cleaned
- Track individual employee performance trends
- Identify any issues and provide preventative solutions.
These features add up to higher-quality cleaning and disinfecting, lower rates of HAIs, and the ability to track EVS’ success.
EVS for Hospitals Provider Near Me
California-based Servicon is a leading provider of EVS for hospitals. We’re here to answer them online or at 310-204-5040.
We help produce higher HCAHPS scores, lower HAIs, and faster throughput, which translates into more budget dollars to spend on your business of saving lives.
We invite you to to find out more about Servicon’s cleaning services for complex facilities and to schedule a free assessment.