Healthcare Cleaning Services: Why We Call Them EVS
Some time ago, companies or departments that clean healthcare settings were referred to as healthcare cleaning services. Today, however, depending on the type of facility, the preferred term is healthcare environmental services or hospital environmental services (EVS). The change has little to do with the tasks EVS performs and more to do with the perception of those vital responsibilities.
When Looks Were All That Mattered
Before the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a slight murmur in the commercial cleaning industry about how the focus of cleaning should not be on appearance but rather on health. However, in reality, it was little more than lip service to the cause. This was because what most customers cared about was making a good impression, which meant the facility had to look clean but not necessarily be hygienic. However, this was never the case in healthcare settings, where cleaning for health has always been the norm. Often, however, the general public took EVS’s vital role in infection prevention for granted, giving little thought to the dangerous health threats that would exist without the work of EVS.
This lack of proper appreciation began to change before COVID when people started connecting healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) to the quality of cleaning. Yet it was not until the pandemic hit full force, shutting down the world and altering it forever, that the cleaning for health movement became a focus. Finally, the enormous frontline contributions of EVS workers began to be acknowledged by the public at large.
This increased attention has shed new light on what hospital cleaning services have been doing all along. This focus also exposed how cleaning in a healthcare setting is not the same as cleaning an office building or other commercial facilities.
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The Same Yet Much Different
All commercial cleaning services workers are exposed to certain dangers, such as those posed by chemicals, improper equipment use, and other potential hazards. This is why all facilities that are cleaned must adhere to specific OSHA guidelines.
However, EVS workers are exposed to additional hazards that most other commercial cleaning services workers are not, including, to name but a few:
Biohazards. EVS must use proper protocols for handling and disposal of bio-based hazards such as feces, blood, urine, and skin.
Sharps. EVS for hospitals, in particular, must follow proper procedures for the handling and disposal of sharps, such as hypodermic needles.
Transmission-based hazards. Because they interact with patients in an environment where germs and infections are easily transferable, healthcare EVS workers must follow specific transmission-based precautions that many other types of cleaners do not have to observe. According to the CDC, these preventive measures vary depending on whether the transmission route of a particular infection is direct contact, droplet, or airborne. These protective measures can range from the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and source controls (such as having patients wear masks) to learning appropriate patient transport, room cleaning, and disinfection procedures.
Healthcare Cleaning Services Near Me
Do you need an EVS provider trained in everything from sharps and biohazards to transmission-based hazards? Contact us today to discover the Servicon advantage
Find out more about opportunities in healthcare cleaning services with Servicon in the California area at servicon.com/careers.
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.