Navigate the Stormy Seas of EVS Staffing with a Site Inventory
Managing without one is like sailing a ship without a rudder.
If you are an Environmental Services Director, you know you need a detailed, accurate database of every cleanable space in your facility — including the cleaning tasks required. A site inventory is the most important tool to calculate and communicate how many people you need to keep the hospital clean.
With the inventory, you have the evidence to make the case for the resources your department needs to fulfill its responsibilities. Without the data, it’s difficult to control the narrative about how many FTEs are required.
Does creating a site inventory require a Pro?
Smart Facility Software’s Chris Lucier says, “When I was an EVS Director, I launched an initiative to quantify the space in my facility and create my own inventory. While I had fun with it, the main thing I learned is why you should hire the pros to do it.
“To build an inventory for a new building my hospital was adding, I took blueprints home, pulled measurements from them on nights and weekends for about 6 months. It seemed to me like I did a great job. I was pretty impressed with what I did…until I tried to use the data.”
In this one example, here’s what Chris learned about the disadvantages of doing it himself:
- While he spent six months building his data, he later found out that a professional team with the tools and training could create the site inventory in less than two weeks. He learned this fact when his hospital hired Smart Facility Software.
- Structuring the data was more complex than he estimated.
- Lack of Standardization: His data set had “Category Creep.” That means that as rooms were added, category names were changed and the data ended up with a lack of standardization. Rooms that should have been in the same subsection had different subsection names assigned to them. The result was a loss of database functionally.
- Room Order: The hospital room’s numbering system was used to order the work assignments. But, the room numbers didn’t put them in the order that a person encounters when the facility is walked, which is generally the most efficient way to order work assignment tasks. There was a lot of pencil whipping to correct documentation as technicians completed and noted assignment progress in a different order.
- Aligning data with a budget requires documenting cleaning details.
- It wasn’t entirely clear what information was needed to accompany the room data in order to run staffing numbers.
- Details about room cleaning were difficult to quantify in the data.
- Aligning the data to a final budget had a large margin of fudging in the final analysis.
- Future use of a site inventory is easy to overlook.
- The data was collected for the specific purpose of attempting to calculate FTEs for the department.
- The data structure wasn’t structured in a way that could be leveraged for other analyses or functions, such as task management.
How Smart Facility Software builds a site inventory.
A team of data specialists with extensive experience in this singular task walks the hospital to collect data. Most of these professionals come from a background in EVS or custodial services. In addition, the specialists are trained in the methods of Smart Facility — a set of procedures that have evolved over the past 30 years.
The Method — Actual Facility Data
Unlike an industry benchmark, Smart Facility Software teams are capturing your facility’s unique information. Ultimately, when you are using the data to perform a staffing analysis, the difference between what’s theoretically possible and what’s actually doable comes down to basing your reports on your facility’s actual unique data, instead of statistical benchmarked calculations based on other hospitals.
“Typically, when a facility contracts with us, we’ll come on site to walk the building, or campus of buildings, and create a cleanable space inventory that logs buildings, floors, subsections, and rooms. All of those spaces are part of a database of cleaning metrics, whether it’s a nurses’ station, a patient room, or a corridor,” says Shawn Wright, President of Smart Facility.
For each room or space, the recording includes square footage, floor type, fixtures and the specific use of that room — or room type. The order of the rooms is recorded as the actual floors are walked. Because, generally, the walking order is the most efficient path for performing tasks in work assignments.
Laser Measurement devices are used for precision and speed. While in most cases the distances recorded are horizontal and used to calculate square footage, the devices also make vertical and cubic foot measurements safer and much quicker, when required.
Our proprietary SmartSite Inventory software application is used for recording facility data during the walk. Ultimately, the data is synced to your facility’s ES Optimizer Database. Importantly, this digital data entry eliminates the need for paper data recording and manual data re-entry.
The Data Review
The Data is reviewed for quality including typographical errors, omissions, and any inconsistencies by our data quality team. The reviewer requests corrections and asks for verification of questionable information. The SmartSite Inventory app notifies the data specialists of questions or corrections. Only after this review, and revisions are made by the onsite data specialist, is the data “approved” and posted in the ES Optimizer database.
We’ve measured a combined space 1.5 times the size of Manhattan
Over 30 years, SFS has recorded over 1 billion square feet of facility space. That means our specialists have walked every square foot of a space 1.5 times the size of Manhattan.
We would be honored to walk the space in your facility.