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Why an Admission, Discharge & Transfer System CANNOT Replace Environmental Services Software

By | ES Operations | No Comments
ES Optimizer Room Types List

ES Optimizer houses a complete list of Room & Space Types found in Hospitals.

The Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) software is the backbone IT system in the hospital. It manages the most important activity: admitting and discharging patients and getting paid for the services. A hospital does much more than selling bed space, but at its core, admitting new patients is what keeps the hospital financially viable.

Making sure the empty, discharged beds turnover quickly to clean, infection-free rooms available for admission is also very important. This is a key function of an Environmental Services Department, so of course, the ES department needs to be intimately involved with the ADT system.

However, it is a costly mistake to think that an ADT software has all the tools necessary to manage Environmental Services. Here are the key areas where only an Environmental Services Software can optimize the hospital’s second largest workforce.

Overall Staffing Numbers

Discharges, Transfers, and Isolation cleans, which can be tracked in the ADT system, are only part of the the ES department’s cleaning responsibilities and budget.

Smart Facility Software has performed thousands of staffing analyses for hospital ES departments. We continually find that patient room discharge cleans account for only 10 – 20% of the total FTE (full-time employee) budget. (Departments where this is less than 10% tend to be overstaffed — and departments where this is more than 20% tend to be understaffed.)

The other 80-90% of the budgeted FTEs that cannot be managed in the ADT system are:
• Occupied patient room cleans
• Daily cleans, policing, and project work for every room, corridor, elevator, entrance, and stairwell in the hospital.
• Lock-ins for between-case cleanings and multiple shift coverage.
• Trash removal, meeting set-ups, supply stocking, linen distribution, etc.
• Breaks and non-productive time of FTEs (e.g. vacation and sick time).
• Management FTEs

So, the ADT system cannot provide the number of FTEs needed to clean the full hospital.

HAIs do not limit themselves to only patient rooms during discharges. Our environmental services software, ES Optimizer, has 91 room types, only 4 of which are patient rooms.

Daily Work Assignments

In addition to missing cleanable space, an ADT system does not house project work, tasks and frequencies required to build daily assignments.

ADT systems track all the patient beds in a hospital and assign them to zones which are associated with daily cleaning assignments for ES Technicians. An ADT system usually does not, however, list any of the other rooms, corridors, entrances, stairwells, and elevators that need to be cleaned daily, policed, and between-case cleaned. It also doesn’t address the frequency of cleaning (e.g. 5 or 7 days/week). Finally, an ADT software does not manage the project work (e.g. floor finishing, buffing, shampooing, wall washing, etc.) for all these rooms.

All of these cleanable spaces along with frequencies need to be in the software to build equitable daily work assignments for ES Technicians that make sense from a geographic standpoint. ES needs to have the right number of people in the right place at the right time, not only to do discharges, but also perform the other 80%-90% of the work that needs to be done 24/7/365.

ADT systems cannot provide these work assignments since they do not house the data elements to do so.

Quality Assurance

Some ADT systems provide a measure of Quality Assurance (QA) capability. But once again, typically only for patient rooms. ES Optimizer has a QA system for all cleanable space in the hospital, including discharge cleans.  The inspections that are being run for the ES department needs to be incorporated into the discharge and patient room daily cleans. You only want to run one QA system for ES functions so that the data is comparable and coherent.

Apps running on smart devices synchronizing with a cloud-based database is how an ES management tool should handle QA.

 

Census-Based Scheduling

Flexing the daily work assignments for the day’s census.

Census-Based Scheduling is not as big of a component for ES departments as it used to be. Rarely do you find hospitals these days with a 10% or more level of clean and empty patient rooms ready to be occupied every morning. However, if your hospital is running less than 90% census, then the ES department needs a system to flex daily work assignment coverage up or down.

The only true variable in a Hospital ES department workload is census, discharges, and transfers. The rest of the cleaning is typically fixed; it was cleaned, or it was not cleaned. If census does fluctuate, then the ES department needs to be able to flex the variable cleaning (daily, discharge, transfer, and isolation cleans) with fixed cleaning such as nurse’s stations, waiting areas, restrooms, etc. An ADT system does not incorporate the rooms for fixed cleaning and, therefore, cannot be used as a census-based scheduling tool.

Days-On/Days-Off Scheduling

ADTs lack full EVS scheduling capabilities.

Without ES software, scheduling personnel with work assignments typically tends to be done in Excel spreadsheets that are saved as a new file every couple of weeks. This leaves behind a trail of confusing historic files.

A cloud-based database application built specifically for ES departments organizes all the employees and the work assignments. The uncovered assignments can be easily be searched and paired with open employees. Open employees that match the assignment can be found through a filtered search as well. Assignments can be applied to calendar dates and easily changed by supervisors, who have the ability to print out sign-in sheets and rosters. This is much more efficient and error-free.

ADTs have none of these capabilities other than showing what employee was assigned to each zone and which beds they cleaned.

Scheduling and Tracking Project Work

A typical hospital has thousands of projects aside from daily cleaning that need to be scheduled and tracked. Since an ADT system tracks patient rooms, perhaps the floor finishing, buffing, etc. could be run through an ADT. However, ADT systems can’t schedule the main lobby waiting area to be shampooed. EVS software includes data for these spaces and the ability to add to work assignments, schedule staff, and record its completion. See ES Optimizer’s Project Assignment screen to the right.

Employee Training and Records

An ADT system can’t keep track of all the in-services needed for a successful ES department, or record employee commendations and consultations. A cloud-based database designed for and used by ES Departments will.  With ES Optimizer’s training management module, reports on training history can be run instantly for the Joint Commission.

ES Software is needed in addition to an ADT System

While Admissions, Discharges and Transfers systems are an essential tool in hospitals, they are not built to handle all functions of Environmental Services. Bed tracking information is key to managing environmental services and ES managers should be very involved with the ADT system.  But, ES managers also need a software tool, like ES Optimizer, built specifically for their departments in order to reach their full productivity and efficiency at keeping the entire hospital clean and infection free.

 

Author: Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is one of the owners of  Smart Facility Software. He has over 25 years of experience in ES consulting and implementing software in environmental services departments nationwide.

Customers Send Instant Service Requests – Now via Text!

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In 2017, Smart Facility Software introduced Service Optimizer, an add-on to ES Optimizer that makes the entire ES Staff mobile – Technicians as well as Managers. Technicians receive their daily assignments on a mobile device and log their completed work as they go.

One of the exciting developments that came with this functionality is the ability for any customer to digitally send service requests to Environmental Services when a high traffic area is in need of attention. The patient, visitor or staff member simply scans the QR code posted in the area and submits the issue.

Now via Text!

Starting now, mobile service requests are also possible with a simple text message. A 5-digit phone number (a short code) is posted in the high traffic area. Any customer or staff member texts their message along with the room code to the posted short code number.

Whether submitted via QR code or text, service requests are sent immediately to Managers on their mobile devices, where they can task them out to Technicians. The software creates the QR codes, text numbers and signs to post in your facility.

To see how it works and request more information, scan the QR code below call us at 800-260-8665.

Post a sign like this in high traffic areas to receive service requests in real-time.

 

ES Optimizer Case Study: Ohio Health

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Ohio Health System Creates Environmental Services Efficiencies with ES Optimizer

Ohio Health's Environmental Services Metrics

Ohio Health’s daunting facility metrics required an Environmental Services Software solution.

Ohio Health System looked to ES Optimizer to improve customer satisfaction, cleanliness perception, and efficiency. We’re happy to say they succeeded.

By implementing ES Optimizer in a pilot hospital, Ohio Health significantly cut hours and dollars spent on administrative and interim management duties, freeing up valuable time and money to focus on quality assurance rounding and employee coaching. These results led to a system-wide adoption of ES Optimizer.

Read the Ohio Health System case study here to see the results Smart Facility Software can deliver for your facility.

HCAHPS: Just the Facts

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What is the HCAHPS survey?Patient Satisfaction Survey

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS, pronounced h-caps) survey is a national, standardized, and publicly reported survey completed by a random sample of adult patients between 48 hours and 6 weeks after discharge from a hospital.

The HCAHPS survey is issued to discharged patients via mail, telephone, and email. It contains 32 total questions, including 21 core questions that address critical aspects of the hospital experience. Those aspects include:

  • Hospital environment cleanliness
  • Hospital environment quietness
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff
  • Ease of communication with doctors and nurses
  • Communication about pain
  • Discharge information
  • Overall impression of the hospital

Why was the HCAHPS survey created?

Before the creation of the survey, there was no standardized way to convert patients’ perceptions of their hospital stays into measurable data. HCAHPS has created a national standard of collecting and reporting data about the patient experience. This allows objective comparisons to be made between hospitals locally, regionally, and nationally.
The HCAHPS survey was designed for these purposes:

  • To generate data about the patient experience that allows meaningful comparisons between hospitals for consumers.
  • To publicly report survey results, holding hospitals accountable for their quality of care and giving them incentives and hard objectives for improvement.

How does the HCAHPS survey affect hospitals?

The results of HCAHPs surveys are used to determine a hospital’s patient satisfaction score. This score is not only publicly reported and visible to consumers, but is weighted in the decision to award or withhold 1% of reimbursement by Medicare to hospitals. Adherence to clinical performance guidelines is weighted by 70% in the decision to award or withhold funds, while HCAHPS scores are weighted by 30%.

How can hospitals improve their HCAHPS score?

Communication between providers, hospital staff, and patients is a major component of overall patient satisfaction. So is the cleanliness of the hospital environment. Tools like ES Optimizer, ES Service Optimizer, and Survey Optimizer are proven to improve environmental services performance, staff communication and patient satisfaction. Over 750 hospitals, medical centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities rely on Smart Facility Software to manage environmental services operations, service requests and survey data faster, more efficiently, and more effectively.

ES Optimizer can eliminate up to 12 hours per pay period of administrative time spent creating assignments, freeing up time and money that can be re-purposed towards ensuring excellent customer service. Using ES Optimizer is proven to make a difference in the cleanliness and efficiency of your facility. Using ES Optimizer can mark the difference between whether or not your facility receives full funding.

Learn more about HCAHPS.

Get started with Smart Facility Software Today! Click here and complete the form to get your free online demo and personalized tour of ES Optimizer.

Smart Facility Software at AHE EXCHANGE 2017

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Smart Facility Software will be at the 2017 EXCHANGE AHE Conference & Solution Center in Orlando, Florida from September 17-20. Come see us at booth 813, take part in a hands-on demonstration of our software, and ask us how we can make your Environmental Services Department more efficient.

ES Optimizer

ES Optimizer is the Industry’s Premier Cloud Tool used by over 750 Hospital ES Departments every day. Determine long-term staffing requirements and organize ES tasks. It’s the industry’s leading tool that lets you plan smartly to get the most from your budget, and the best from your people. Maintain a better environment for your patients, visitors, and staff.

NEW! ES Service Optimizer

Be one of the first to try our newest addition to ES Optimizer. ES Service Optimizer is the mobile companion to ES Optimizer that revolutionizes real-time response to your customers. Digitally assign tasks and receive progress data updates from ES Technicians. All data syncs with ES Optimizer’s Task Management Cloud, saving Managers the task of entering activity records from paper assignment logs. Also improve two-way communication between Managers and Technicians via texts.

ES Survey Optimizer

Survey Optimizer was developed especially for busy Facility Managers and Environmental Services Managers responsible for rounds and reporting using surveys. Use our proven Survey Management System to uncover and monitor issues in a consistent manner. Surveys can be performed on mobile devices that sync wirelessly to the cloud.

CS Optimizer

We offer Custodial Services and Mobile Survey Management Applications to Universities and other Educational Facilities. Manage all custodial management functions in one application. Improve your department’s productivity while still improving quality.
Have questions about our products before the expo? Contact us to find out more and set up a remote demonstration.

How Our Tune-Up Services Help You

By | Benefits, ES Operations, Future Features, Software Features | No Comments

Our expertise is leveraged to build out all the ES modules.

We all know that busy schedules place demands on the Environmental Services management team that doesn’t necessarily allow time for setting up their program to its peak effectiveness.

We provide support in these areas:

  • Building all the daily work assignments by evaluating workloads, ordering routes, and adding service notes to ensure all assignments are equitable and accurate.
  • Design Project/Preventative maintenance module in ES Optimizer.
  • Build the comprehensive quality assurance program within ES Optimizer with monthly reporting features for Environmental Services.
  • Design a comprehensive training agenda for all housekeeping staff, including supervisors and managers.
  • Identify best practices of other ES departments that are currently not in place.
  • Create an implementation plan for ES Optimizer that details the necessary steps for a successful deployment.
  • For long-term clients, we provide support by updating room cleaning data via a walk-through of areas that contain rooms that have experienced physical changes. This service is called “Validation” because we are correcting the cleaning information in ES Optimizer.

The Proper Tools Make the Job Right

By | Benefits, ES Operations, Software Features | No Comments

Our HVAC Technicians…

The HVAC technician came by the office the other day to do some routine system maintenance. He’s fast, he’s efficient. He wears a tool belt, it’s hardly noticeable. But when he needs something— a wrench, or a wire stripper, or a nut driver—bingo! It’s in his hand almost before you can say “energy efficiency.”

Medical staff using smart facility software.The ES Optimizer…

It occurred to me that our ES Optimizer is very much like that tech’s tool belt. Inconspicuous, out of the way, but when you need something—it’s right there at your fingertips. Here are a few of the extra tools it’s nice to have on hand.

As you may know, ES Optimizer is the SAAS (software as a service) that lets you bring greater efficiency to your ES department. With the Teletracking tool integrated into the software, you can gain new efficiency in aligning work assignments more closely with the patient turnover.

Here’s how it works. Teletracking sends data to ES Optimizer on the current census. ES Optimizer uses this information to calculate the discharged cleaning needed for that day along with routine cleaning requirements. Then, ES Optimizer sends back a quota for each employee. Teletracking notifies employees of the quotas and updates ES Optimizer when quotas are met. It’s a real-time solution for allocating workload quickly and equitably among your staff to get the best possible productivity.

Hospital administration loves this because it reduces the delay in getting beds available for new patients, which ultimately improves the overall patient experience for the hospital.

Another great tool for ES Optimizer, available as an upgrade with the Quality Management Module, is Survey Optimizer. Here’s how it works.

Survey Optimizer comes with a library of 30 survey templates you can choose from—or it lets you create your own. Many users find it an ideal means for building surveys to gauge HCAHPS patient satisfaction, black light cleaning inspections, or Joint Commission compliance. There’s a lot of flexibility to customize.

You can install the mobile app on your Apple device and conduct surveys on the go—especially helpful for busy facility and ES managers who are responsible for rounds. What’s more, over 40 customizable reports are available. Just push the button to generate one. The survey is so simple to use that virtually anyone can be up and running with it in short order.

The right tools make the job right. Make it easy on yourself with the extra tools available with ES Optimizer by Smart Facility Software.

Try Our Software Today!

By | Benefits, Software Features, Technical Support | No Comments

No Experience with our Software? No Worries, We Can Train You…

We know the ins and outs of our software, and we will communicate in a language you will understand. Our software support specialists provide individualized technical training to your team for the best learning experience.

Stay in the Comfort of Your OfficeTeam work with Smart Facility Software Technicians

We make it simple, the training is performed at your facility in a computer training room so no travel is necessary for your staff.

Here are a Few Things You’ll Learn…

  • Development of daily work assignments, ordering routes, defining cleaning steps into an easy-to-understand format for your employees.
  • Setup of Personnel template and corresponding monthly employee calendar and attendance tracking.
  • Printing staffing reports, running What-If Scenarios, and creating Staffing Analysis reports.
  • The building of project cleaning assignments based upon needed project workers.
  • Setup and use of the Quality Management System, building inspections and surveys and performing them on the iPad throughout your hospital.
  • Use of Census Based Scheduling so you can more precisely assign discharge quotas based on today’s activity.

Our Software Training Doesn’t Stop Here…

We have an online technical support page just for you. The page will provide you with all the resources and online tools you need as an environmental services manager to support your system. Please take advantage of our video training library, FAQ and online chat to get the answers you need. Please email support or call our technical support line if you have any questions.

 

Staffing Wizard Makes Staffing Analysis Even Easier

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There’s a new toy in your ES Optimizer Stocking!

If you’re wanting a great gift for the new year, take a moment to play with the Staffing Wizard function in ES Optimizer. This new tool allows you to create a Staffing Analysis easily without having to enter all the data previously needed for daily policing and project cleaning.

The Staffing Wizard automatically uses your current ES Optimizer cleaning-standard settings for all cleaning elements (Daily and Project) for each frequency group. In addition, simple and clear on-screen language makes the forms easy to understand and complete. Let’s take a look.

When you enter Staffing Analysis from the dashboard of ES Optimizer, you’ll see a screen that looks like this:

Chart showing where to click the Staffing Wizard button

 

This particular user has saved seven unique staffing analyses. I’ve drawn boxes around two new enhancements on this page: the Staffing Wizard button and a grid of data that shows budgeted, calculated, and total full-time employees (FTEs) for each analysis.

To start a new staffing analysis, click on the Staffing Wizard button. You’ll go to a screen that looks like this:

The Staffing Wizard landing page asks you to fill in staff data

As the tabs indicate, you can create a staffing analysis in four steps. (Step 1 opened by default when you clicked on “Staffing Wizard.”) In this first step, you enter your department information. The “Use Previous Staffing Settings” box lets you automatically populate the fields and edit the data as needed to save time. Once you have completed this page, click on the Step 2 tab. No need to save your data between steps—Staffing Wizard does that for you.

In Step 2, you respond to prompts that assess your staffing requirements for discharges/transfers and between-case cleaning duties. Notice that the text uses common abbreviations and simple language to make entering the data easy.

The second step of the Staffing Wizard

In Step 3, you note any additional staffing your department uses. Staffing Wizard provides ten predefined selections by default. However, you may customize these to include any staff designations you wish.

Step 3 landing page to the Staffing Wizard

In Step 4, you select the rooms to include in your analysis. You can check an entire facility, a building, or any area you designate. By default, Staffing Wizard will analyze staffing for all rooms. Filters allow you to exclude closed rooms from analysis. You can also exclude all locked-in and contracted rooms, and you may further filter these by “daily cleaning,” “corridors, elevators & stairs,” and “project work.”

Screen for selecting rooms you want analyzed in the Staffing Wizard

The “notes” tab lets you enter important information about your analysis. If you preselected filters, it automatically stores those choices here for your reference.

Filters added automatically to the notes in Staffing Wizard

Now, select “Process Staffing Analysis” to instantly generate the report (below). Staffing Wizard makes staffing analysis quick, simple, and easy. It’s a gift that will keep on giving, week after week, all year long. If you’d like to learn what other features ES Optimizer can give to you to simplify your environmental services management call us at 800-260-8665.

The report that is generated when you complete working with Staffing Wizard