When it comes to staffing analysis, reports based on actual data from the unique facility––instead of benchmarking––makes all the difference.

Most EVS Direc­tors have expe­ri­enced this phe­nom­e­non: a staffing analy­sis bench­mark­ing report comes back with the poten­tial for sig­nif­i­cant sav­ings, if its rec­om­men­da­tions are suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed. But in prac­tice, your team strug­gles to imple­ment those changes with­out sac­ri­fic­ing qual­i­ty or ser­vice lev­el.

This is a com­mon strug­gle for EVS Direc­tors, who face the dual chal­lenges of address­ing ris­ing HAI rates by clean­ing reg­u­lar­ly and thor­ough­ly, while also man­ag­ing the finan­cial and staffing chal­lenges that so many facil­i­ties are fac­ing.

That’s why it’s so impor­tant to base your deci­sion-mak­ing on good data. When it comes to 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 data, instead of sta­tis­ti­cal cal­cu­la­tions based on oth­er hos­pi­tals.

The Limitations of Benchmarking

Staffing analy­ses that rely on bench­mark­ing com­pare data sets from mul­ti­ple facil­i­ties and use aver­ages to pre­scribe the lev­el of EVS staff need­ed per square foot. This can be use­ful, in terms of giv­ing you a sense of indus­try norms.

But aver­ages are just that: many facil­i­ties have high­er staffing lev­els, and many have low­er, based on the unique sit­u­a­tion of those facil­i­ties. And it’s not just square footage that affects those staffing lev­els.

There are mul­ti­ple fac­tors that affect staffing lev­els beyond just square footage, such as: 

  • Type of space (what is the mix of office space, ERs, ORs, patient rooms, wait­ing rooms, etc.);
  • Vol­ume of patient room dis­charges and trans­fer cleans;
  • Patient room cen­sus occu­pan­cy;
  • Man­age­ment team to employ­ee ratios, as well as the spe­cif­ic respon­si­bil­i­ties of man­age­ment team;
  • Pub­lic area polic­ing and porter duties (ser­vice request respons­es);
  • Paid break time per shift;
  • The amount of lock-in areas cleaned such as ER, L&D, NICU, Inva­sive Radi­ol­o­gy, Surg­eries, Cath Labs, etc.––areas that need mul­ti-shift EVS atten­tion due to clean­ing between cas­es, or con­stant turnover;
  • Vol­ume of non-clean­ing tasks: such as meet­ing set-ups or sup­ply room stock­ing.

If, for instance, there are two facil­i­ties that both have the same square footage, but one of them has twice the amount of patient rooms, that facil­i­ty will inevitably need more employ­ee hours to reach the same qual­i­ty of ser­vice and clean­ing. And while some of these fac­tors are account­ed for in bench­mark­ing num­bers, they vary wide­ly by facil­i­ty, and con­trol­ling for all of them is dif­fi­cult.

There are also oth­er vari­ables to con­sid­er when it comes to bench­mark­ing. As with any analy­sis, you have to make sure that you’re com­par­ing apples to apples. Here are just some of the ques­tions that EVS Direc­tors should con­sid­er before rely­ing on bench­mark­ing:

  • Are the facil­i­ties that this bench­mark­ing report includes sim­i­lar to your own facil­i­ty? If your facil­i­ty is rely­ing on bench­mark­ing, you want to be sure that the facil­i­ties those reports are based on are sim­i­lar to your own when it comes to the fac­tors list­ed above.
  • Do these facil­i­ties achieve the lev­el of clean that your facil­i­ty aspires to? The aver­age HCAHPS rat­ing among US hos­pi­tals for clean­li­ness is 3 out of 5 stars.
  • Are these facil­i­ties under­staffed? The trend in most facil­i­ties over time has been a con­tin­u­al decrease in staff in response to hos­pi­tal bud­get cuts, so many of the hos­pi­tals that bench­mark­ing reports rely on are oper­at­ing under­staffed, and could thus pro­duce arti­fi­cial­ly low expec­ta­tions for the hours need­ed to main­tain qual­i­ty in your facil­i­ty.

As you can see, bench­mark­ing has a myr­i­ad of lim­i­ta­tions that can make it dif­fi­cult for EVS Direc­tors to rely upon it as an accu­rate staffing analy­sis tool. But there’s an alter­na­tive: 

The Alternative: Staffing Analysis Based on Your Facility’s Actual and Unique Data

At Smart Facil­i­ty Soft­ware, we don’t use bench­marks or blue­prints to build out the data­base. Instead, we take an inven­to­ry of your facil­i­ty, so you can ana­lyze your staffing needs based on your unique data. 

Our EVS con­sul­tants lit­er­al­ly walk the floors of each hos­pi­tal facil­i­ty to deter­mine its scope and spe­cif­ic needs and build a data­base of rooms and clean­ing require­ments. Each facility’s data­base cap­tures not only its square footage, but also fac­tors like the type of space, fix­tures in that space, and acu­ity. In our three decades of ser­vice, we’ve record­ed over one bil­lion square feet of clean­able area––over twice the size of Manhattan––and that record of each facility’s actu­al and unique data allows us to adapt the soft­ware to your team’s spe­cif­ic needs.

When it comes to staffing cal­cu­la­tions, ES Opti­miz­er takes into account your facility’s spe­cif­ic clean­ing pro­to­cols, as well as oth­er vari­ables and tasks per­formed by EVS that aren’t relat­ed to site inven­to­ry, such as lock-ins, waste removal, and non-pro­duc­tive time, among oth­ers.

This first­hand knowl­edge of your facil­i­ty makes it pos­si­ble to run staffing analy­ses and build work assign­ments that actu­al­ly meet the needs of your unique facil­i­ty and bud­get.

In a time when HAIs are on the rise and budgets are strapped, your facility’s needs when it comes to staffing analysis are too important to leave in the hands of benchmarking reports. If you’re ready to level up your facility’s EVS staffing analysis, we’re ready to help.

Call 800–260-8665 or click here to schedule a demo today!