In our previous article, HCAHPS and the Environmental Services Department, we outlined which questions on the HCAHPS survey are most relevant to environmental service technicians. Those questions are:
Question 8: During this hospital stay, how often were your room and bathroom kept clean?
Question 18: Using any number from 0 to 10, where 0 is the worst hospital possible and 10 is the best hospital possible, what number would you use to rate this hospital during your stay?
Now that we know how the environmental services department impacts HCAHPS scores, how can your department, already making the best use of your resources, boost their scores? Incorporating specialized EVS Software (beyond your ADT system) give you the tools to take quality to the next level by shaving hours off of managerial duties and bringing key information to light.
A few key components to reaching and maintaining higher HCAHPS scores:
- Right staffing levels
- Knowing the work that’s getting done
- Well-managed Quality Assurance program
These are components that require EVS software to be managed well due to the sheer volume of information that goes into each.
Prove your Staffing Level Needs with Rigorous Data
EVS Software houses and produces rigorous data. Justify environmental services staffing levels with software.
The EVS department faces the challenge of maintaining an adequate staffing level for efficiently cleaning and sterilizing patient rooms while also being a major target for cost cutting. Justifying and maintaining sufficient staffing levels is vital to not only improving HCAHPS scores, but to patient safety and the hospital’s overall reputation.
When an environmental services director has concrete data to justify staffing needs, it’s hard to dispute. The best defense against cuts that will hinder your EVS department’s effectiveness is a staffing model based on that data.
With ES Optimizer, your database will include an inventory of all cleanable space in your hospital as well as any variations in cleaning times and frequency. ES Optimizer’s staffing analysis module assesses the whole picture when determining the number of FTEs you need, taking lock-in positions, management employees, duties aside from cleaning including meetings, and nonproductive time into account.
Keep Work Assignments from Falling Through the Cracks
EVS Software efficiently schedules and documents work assignments.
Do you know for sure what tasks your environmental services techs are completing every day? If you don’t have a consistent system for assigning and documenting daily tasks and project work, important duties are almost certainly falling between the cracks. And when cleaning quality suffers, so do HCAHPS scores.
Moreover, if your method for assigning and documenting environmental services duties takes too much productive time out of the day, you and your managers are missing out on opportunities for quality inspections, training, and regularly communicating with frontline staff to get their input on what’s going on in the hospital and boost morale.
EVS departments using ES Optimizer have reported reducing time spent on administrative work by up to 12 hours per pay period, and reducing the labor cost for management to generate new work assignments by up to 98%. Furthermore, with EVS software, you know that every cleanable space in your hospital is accounted for, and you can pull information about how recently and how often that room has been cleaned in seconds instead of spending hours on spreadsheets and paper documentation.
Documentation becomes even easier with ES Service Optimizer, the mobile companion to ES Optimizer that allows EVS techs to view and document daily assignments and project work on a mobile device. Managers receive real-time status updates throughout the day, are able to immediately communicate any changes to the day’s assignments, and save hours of manually entering activity records from paper logs.
Manage Issues Before They Are Reflected in HCAHPS Scores
EVS Software manages Quality Inspection Data to keep tabs on your facility’s level of clean and improve it.
After determining the correct number of FTEs for your EVS department and ensuring that you have a consistent method for scheduling and documenting work assignments, the next step is to refine your department’s current processes.
Quality inspections are fundamental to ensuring that cleaning quality is up to standard. And when it isn’t, it’s important to identify specific areas where your EVS staff requires more training. With ES Optimizer’s quality management module, managers are easily able to select a random room from the database, and their inspection list is automatically populated with that room’s cleaning steps.
With step-by-step monitoring, you’ll know exactly where your staff’s problems with cleaning quality lie. By adding Survey Optimizer, managers can create and conduct any survey a facility requires, including blacklight surveys, ATP surveys, and more.
Once you’ve identified the areas where improvement is required, scheduling training is easy with ES Optimizer’s employee training module. The module contains 30 pre-set classes that can be customized to a specific hospital, and entirely custom classes can be created with all the same tracking components. EVS managers can track attendance, absences, tests and scores, and training records for specific employees.
Can’t my hospital’s ADT system do this?
While an Admission, Discharge, and Transfer (ADT) system is crucial for ensuring that discharged beds quickly turnover to infection-free rooms ready for patient admission, it does not have all the tools required to manage and improve an environmental services department. An ADT system cannot give an accurate count of FTEs needed to clean every area of a hospital, nor can it schedule and track daily assignments and project work. Read more to learn about the EVS gaps in your hospital’s ADT system.
By using EVS software to validate your current processes and then continue to improve them, you will be able to prove that your hospital is clean, and that your EVS staff is becoming more knowledgeable, using concrete data. As cleaning quality consistently improves, so will patient perception of cleanliness, their overall perception of the hospital, and HCAHPs scores.
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Read the other articles in our HCAHPS series: