OhioHealth System Creates Environmental Services Efficiencies with ES Optimizer

Ohio Health's Environmental Services Metrics

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


Long con­sid­ered the clean­est facil­i­ties in our soci­ety, hos­pi­tals rely on their sec­ond largest work force, the Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices (ES) Depart­ment, to main­tain this essen­tial hos­pi­tal func­tion. Sec­ond in size only to the nurs­ing staff, the ES staff ensures patients and their loved ones are con­fi­dent they’re in a clean and healthy envi­ron­ment. Hos­pi­tal acquired infec­tions (HAI’s), cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, clean­li­ness per­cep­tion, and dis­charge acu­ity all must be bal­anced with the front-line labor and man­age­ment sys­tems need­ed to excel in the mod­ern hos­pi­tal Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Depart­ment.


The ES Depart­ments share the Ohio­Health Mis­sion: To improve the health of those they serve. Their goal is to con­sis­tent­ly present a non-infec­tious facil­i­ty cleaned by well-trained pro­fes­sion­als.

The chal­lenge is the sheer size of the Ohio­Health Sys­tem. It is a fam­i­ly of 29,000 asso­ciates, physi­cians and vol­un­teers; a net­work of 11 hos­pi­tals, 200+ ambu­la­to­ry sites; and providers of hos­pice, home health, med­ical equip­ment and more, span­ning 47 Ohio coun­ties. Their hos­pi­tals are busy places. ES Man­agers were using spread­sheets and paper sur­veys to man­age a staff of 650 charged with clean­ing and inspect­ing 5.4 mil­lion square feet. The tools ES man­age­ment teams were using to accom­plish their mis­sion had become out­dat­ed and time con­sum­ing with effec­tive­ness being hit or miss.

The admin­is­tra­tive bur­den of cre­at­ing work assign­ments and staffing sched­ules kept man­agers from improv­ing qual­i­ty. It also hin­dered their abil­i­ty to keep cur­rent assess­ments of the actu­al num­ber of employ­ees need­ed to main­tain con­sis­tent lev­els of clean­li­ness. Stan­dard indus­try bench­marks for num­ber of employ­ees, based sole­ly on square footage, were telling man­age­ment one sto­ry. But, actu­al qual­i­ty inspec­tions were telling anoth­er, result­ing in cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion scores need­ing refine­ment.


Ohio­Health decid­ed to work with Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware, using the web-based soft­ware, ES Opti­miz­er, to meet this chal­lenge.
ES Opti­miz­er is a sys­tem that stream­lines every step in ana­lyz­ing staffing needs, build­ing work assign­ments and cre­at­ing employ­ee sched­ules. One Ohio­Health hos­pi­tal was cho­sen ini­tial­ly to pilot the soft­ware in Jan­u­ary 2016: Grant Med­ical Cen­ter, in Colum­bus, OH — Ohio’s busiest Lev­el I Trau­ma Cen­ter. Once the pilot was com­plete the project man­age­ment team would bring back find­ings to deter­mine whether ES Opti­miz­er should be imple­ment­ed sys­tem-wide.

How Fre­quen­cy is Deter­mined

Step 1:

Find out the true num­ber of Full-Time Employ­ees (FTEs) need­ed.

Ohio­Health decid­ed to go grass­roots to find out how many peo­ple were need­ed for the lev­el of clean­ing qual­i­ty desired.

Know­ing the amount of space, tasks and fre­quen­cy is the key to answer­ing the FTE ques­tion. An inven­to­ry of the hospital’s rooms, cor­ri­dors, ele­va­tors, stair­wells, and entrances, with the clean­ing tasks would be need­ed for each type of space. Then fre­quen­cy would be deter­mined: How many times per day/week/month/year are we going to per­form each clean­ing task?

Ohio­Health used Smart Facil­i­ty Software’s team of pro­fes­sion­als to con­duct the on-site inven­to­ries and enter the data into ES Opti­miz­er. The
times need­ed for each clean­ing step, already in ES Opti­miz­er, are based on Smart Facil­i­ty Software’s 30+ years of ES expe­ri­ence. Ohio­Health, how­ev­er, adjust­ed the clean­ing steps and times to com­plete them to suit the unique needs of their facil­i­ty. From there, the soft­ware cal­cu­lat­ed the num­ber of FTEs actu­al­ly need­ed. ES Man­agers were able to run what-if sce­nar­ios using the soft­ware to alter the num­ber of FTEs required. For instance, they could change lev­els of clean­ing and fre­quen­cies to see how the final num­bers were affect­ed.

Step 2:

After the appro­pri­ate staffing lev­el had been deter­mined, Ohio­Health moved to imple­ment. This meant build­ing dai­ly work assign­ments. ES Opti­miz­er made it easy to turn the room inven­to­ries already in the data­base into work­ing sets of assign­ments.

Step 3:

Staff were then appoint­ed to the work assign­ments they would cov­er. Again, using ES Opti­miz­er, the ES Man­ag­er could eas­i­ly view work assign­ments that need­ed cov­er­age and search the data­base for tech­ni­cians with avail­able time to cov­er it. If a tech­ni­cian had avail­able time, the ES Man­ag­er could search the data­base for avail­able work assign­ments. This made sure all work assign­ments are cov­ered despite unex­pect­ed as well as expect­ed time off.

On-site train­ing ses­sions gave the ES man­age­ment team the skill set to ful­ly uti­lize all ES Opti­miz­er capa­bil­i­ties: Staffing Analy­sis, Work Assign­ments, Qual­i­ty Inspec­tions, Employ­ee Train­ing, Project Work, Cen­sus Based Sched­ul­ing, and oth­er vital com­po­nents. The man­age­ment teams could now get rid of all the paper, word doc­u­ments, and spread­sheets.


The effect of imple­ment­ing ES Opti­miz­er in Grant Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal impact­ed staff, man­age­ment, and cus­tomers deci­sive­ly.

ES Man­agers at Grant elim­i­nat­ed the equiv­a­lent of 12 hours per pay peri­od of admin­is­tra­tive work. This rep­re­sents an 83% decrease in man­age­r­i­al labor cost spent on admin­is­tra­tive work. The labor expense for man­age­ment to gen­er­ate a new work assign­ment was reduced by an astound­ing 98%. The new­ly freed up hours were real­lo­cat­ed to cus­tomer ser­vice round­ing of the hos­pi­tal.

There was a 75% reduc­tion in the ES manager’s hours spent on inter­im man­age­ment duties. This allowed the major­i­ty of their time to be direct­ed to cus­tomer ser­vice round­ing and asso­ciate coach­ing.

“Sur­prise” ser­vice requests for areas not being cov­ered that take the sched­ule off-track are a thing of the past.

The project man­age­ment team con­clud­ed that if ES Opti­miz­er were imple­ment­ed sys­tem-wide, new lead­ers will ben­e­fit from fast onboard­ing due to the auto­mat­ed admin­is­tra­tive process­es. This would result in sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment in new leader work­flow design.


With these results, the project team received approval to imple­ment ES Opti­miz­er sys­tem-wide to include all their Cen­tral,
Ohio and region­al cam­pus­es.

As ES Opti­miz­er was rolled out across the sys­tem, Man­agers and Ser­vice Techs saw imme­di­ate feed­back and improve­ment via qual­i­ty inspec­tions (which could be eas­i­ly per­formed on ES Optimizer’s mobile app). New work assign­ments made dis­charge clean­ing the pri­or­i­ty. Trends for Qual­i­ty improve­ment became easy to report on. Staff observed a rapid improve­ment in day-to-day clean­ing as well as project cycle clean­ing.

ES Opti­miz­er has made Ohio­Health Hos­pi­tals clean­er in not only per­cep­tion but in real­i­ty, instill­ing con­fi­dence the Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Depart­ments are mak­ing the most effi­cient use of the labor resources avail­able.


Found­ed in 1986, SFS is con­sid­ered the indus­try expert for in Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Man­age­ment and Tech­nol­o­gy. Our web-based soft­ware prod­ucts include:


The Industry’s Pre­mier Soft­ware used by over 750 Hos­pi­tal ES Depart­ments Every Day. The Mobile Add-on that con­nects ES Tech­ni­cians to ES Optimizer’s Task Man­age­ment Appli­ca­tion. The Soft­ware to Eas­i­ly Build and Con­duct Any Sur­vey, Any­time, Any­where.

Down­load and print a PDF of the Ohio­Health Sys­tem case study here.