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Turning an Environmental Services Challenge into a Success

Medical Worker Nurse Talking with Senior Patient
Friday, October 19, 2018
When Manisha Patel completed her walk through upon joining her facility at Pacific Eye Institute, she found deficiencies across all standards, varying in severity. The environment of care walk through revealed lines of dust along cabinets in the peri-operative suits, as well as a thick line of dust around the suction cannister and tubings. She also noticed that this was true for inside the operating rooms (ORs). Her first response was one of surprise and frustration at the cleaning crew’s poor performance.

As a solution, Ms. Patel created a log where all members of the OR staff could log any housekeeping issues they found to include date/time/location so that they can bring it to the Environmental Services (EVS) manager’s attention. She called a meeting with the EVS manager and his team to introduce herself and explain to them the high standards that she has always held. The idea Ms. Patel had was to express how strongly she relies on them to clean thoroughly every night during their terminal cleaning. The EVS team stated the past feedback they received was great. The regional EVS manager followed up to help support their increased standards and pushed for better compliance goals among his team. Ms. Patel and her team set up weekly meetings and when they conducted walk throughs and they discussed questions they had for each other. As a result, Ms. Patel learned that the cleaning crew did not know they could touch medical equipment and they were concerned about bed positioning. Ms. Patel informed the EVS team that the OR staff members would tape down areas where the bed will go and that could be their guiding point.

The day after their first meeting, the ORs were pristine. Ms. Patel and her team met over the next two weeks and pinpointed other areas they expected improved cleaning. This gave them a chance to review and understand each other’s perspectives. The EVS team was genuinely interested in doing a better job and that was reflected in their improved work. Ms. Patel and her team are now updating their logs to compliment their higher standards and are paying more attention to details to help Pacific Eye Institute improve day by day.

For more information, please contact: Manisha Patel, RN-BSN, BSc, ASC Director, Pacific Eye Institute, 555 N. Thirteenth Avenue, Upland, CA 91786.