Three Charts to Shape the EVS Productivity Conversation

Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is a dai­ly top­ic in hos­pi­tals, both for oper­a­tions and for clin­i­cal staff. The goal is to make the most of your human resources on duty, get­ting as close to 100% pro­duc­tiv­i­ty as pos­si­ble. We’re bet­ting that if you’re an Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Direc­tor you are hav­ing reg­u­lar con­ver­sa­tions with admin­is­tra­tive lead­ers about your department’s staffing lev­els and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

The top­ic is chal­leng­ing. Stan­dard think­ing about how to cal­cu­late pro­duc­tiv­i­ty tends to neglect key real­i­ties of EVS oper­a­tions. Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is con­sid­ered most­ly a func­tion of patient vol­ume. While this may be bet­ter suit­ed to clin­i­cal func­tions, where the work is patient-cen­tric, it over­looks key fac­tors of oper­a­tional func­tions.  In the case of Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices: the amount of clean­able space in a hos­pi­tal that needs to be cleaned, ster­il­ized, and kept safe doesn’t change based on the num­ber of patients in beds. While patients may come and go, the facil­i­ty does not.

The lob­by needs to shine whether there are five cus­tomers cross­ing through it or 500. Clean­ing fre­quen­cies for com­mon areas of the hos­pi­tal such as laun­dry, nurs­es sta­tions, cor­ri­dors, and pub­lic restrooms do not fluc­tu­ate pro­por­tion­ate­ly to patient vol­umes. Some­times fam­i­ly mem­bers sit­ting with a patient will go into emp­ty patient rooms to sleep, or nurs­es will enter to wash their hands—so, often, even “emp­ty” rooms require polic­ing and clean­ing.

While pro­duc­tiv­i­ty is on everyone’s mind, depart­ment heads aren’t expect­ed to cal­cu­late it. But they do need to man­age for it. Here is what an EVS direc­tor must do in terms of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty:

  • Answer ques­tions about staffing deci­sions made.
  • Jus­ti­fy run­ning staff while the patient cen­sus is low.

Below are some tools to help you have these con­ver­sa­tions when your staffing lev­els don’t meet administration’s expec­ta­tions. Also, they will help you illus­trate how pro­duc­tiv­i­ty should be looked at for the Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices Depart­ment.

1) Census-Centric View of Productivity:

How EVS Productivity is Commonly Viewed

Prob­lem: This point of view over­looks impor­tant real­i­ties of Envi­ron­men­tal Ser­vices man­age­ment, name­ly Non-Patient-Depen­dent Clean­ing. These are require­ments that do not fluc­tu­ate with the dai­ly cen­sus. Exam­ples include fixed areas such as:

  • Emer­gency
  • OR
  • Radi­ol­o­gy
  • Labor & Deliv­ery
  • Lock-in Posi­tions
  • Trash & Linen Dis­rup­tion

These are fixed com­po­nents that need to be staffed regard­less of inpa­tient vol­umes.

Solu­tion: See the next chart.

2) Better: Takes into Account Non-Patient-Dependent Cleaning

This chart illus­trates why the expect­ed EVS staffing lev­els shouldn’t fluc­tu­ate in direct pro­por­tion to patient cen­sus.

Prob­lem: While this is bet­ter, it leaves a man­age­r­i­al prob­lem for EVS lead­er­ship — fluc­tu­at­ing work sched­ules are hard on employ­ee morale and lead to turnover. EVS Techs have mort­gages to main­tain and fam­i­lies to sup­port. They need con­sis­tent, reli­able work sched­ules to do this. If the hos­pi­tal can’t pro­vide it, employ­ees are oblig­ed to seek more sta­ble employ­ment.

Solu­tion: See the next chart.

3) Best: Maintain productivity, while ensuring consistent employee hours by flexing project work schedules.

If you are an EVS Direc­tor, you are like­ly already flex­ing project work sched­ules to make the best use of your staff.

This chart paints the pic­ture of how EVS staffing lev­els can sel­dom fluc­tu­ate on a day-to-day basis, but pro­duc­tiv­i­ty doesn’t suf­fer. When there is a slow day (dai­ly bed count com­bined with non-patient-depen­dent clean­ing is low­er than aver­age), your EVS depart­ment will have min­utes to spare. Rather than send employ­ees home, you are mov­ing peri­od­ic work, which is less time sen­si­tive, to these days for com­ple­tion.

It cre­ates a more con­sis­tent staffing mod­el with­out los­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

Tools to Manage for EVS Productivity

If you are a Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware user, you have pro­duc­tiv­i­ty man­age­ment tools to both cal­cu­late staffing lev­els need­ed and eas­i­ly move project work based on the dai­ly cen­sus.

  • The Cen­sus Based Sched­ul­ing mod­ule in ES Opti­miz­er allows a dai­ly import of the cen­sus. It has tools for eas­i­ly sched­ul­ing the cen­sus work and adding assign­ments in for the remain­ing min­utes.
  • With Ser­vice Opti­miz­er, you can mon­i­tor com­plet­ed tasks in real-time, allow­ing you to make data-backed deci­sions about where to send employ­ees and opti­mize pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.
  • The mobile com­mu­ni­ca­tions fea­tures in Ser­vice Opti­miz­er make reas­sign­ing and redi­rect­ing employ­ee resources even more effi­cient. They enable back-and-forth com­mu­ni­ca­tion between man­agers and employ­ees about shift­ing pri­or­i­ties while they’re on the floor.

Reach out to us for more infor­ma­tion on these fea­tures.