In order for a hospital to run smoothly and efficiently, it's critical that every team assists their peers in other departments, whenever and however possible. While ancillary departments like Environmental Services (EVS), Facilities, Foodservice, and Linen don't seem to have much impact on medical care, the truth is that each of these departments impact the patient experience and the perception of the care they receive. As the healthcare industry continues to consolidate, medical staff are often expected to accomplish more with fewer resources.
What many hospital leaders don't realize is that EVS team members are uniquely positioned to help nursing staff succeed. With an environment of strong communication and collaboration, these two departments can work together to greatly improve the patient experience. Here at HHS, we train our EVS team to assist their nurses however possible.
Working Together to Provide Excellent Patient Care
At HHS, we understand that our team members have the ability to make a significant positive impact on the healing environment. One example of our approach to EVS is the "do not pass" rule for call lights. When an EVS team member sees a call light on, they always stop into the room to see what the patient needs. If there's something simple they can help with -- like providing an extra pillow or opening the curtains -- they take care of the request without notifying the nurses. If something beyond their scope of service is required, they alert the nursing staff to the patient's needs so that help can be provided as quickly as possible.
While the nurses and doctors are the ones who provide direct care for patients in the case of an emergency, the EVS team can be on hand to preform a number of highly important and helpful non-medical tasks. This can include relaying messages to other medical personnel, holding doors for clinical staff to enter and exit, and just lending an extra hand where it's needed.
Many of our team members go above and beyond their call of duties to care for the patients they serve. Often times, EVS team members will get to know patients on a personal level, creating bonds and developing friendships. When team members get to know their patients, they may notice when something is wrong before anyone else does. If the patient doesn't seem to be breathing correctly or isn't responding as usual, they can alert the nursing team to ensure the patient receives the urgent care they may need. On more than one occasion this has led to crucial help from the EVS team in saving the life of a patient.
A well-managed EVS team creates consistency through patient room organization, through cleaning schedules, and through their interactions and communication with patients and staff. Building this consistency leads to better teamwork and ultimately allows all hospital staff to provide their patients with the highest level of care possible.
For more information about our approach to housekeeping and environmental services, please contact us.