You don’t have to be a medical provider to have an impact on patients. White Rock Medical Center’s Environmental Services (EVS) team is proof that all roles in the hospital can improve our patients’ experience.
The department is implementing a yearlong action plan that will tackle patient experience. From big changes to small items like cards and towels, processes and changes in EVS aim to make a big impact.
“Our goal is that every patient can say their room was kept clean all the time during their stay,” said Wilbert Mosley, director of environmental services. “We’re diving deep into the EVS practice to do our part to impact patient satisfaction scores.”
It starts with preparing rooms for new patients. The team uses “cues of cleanliness” to help patients, visitors and staff alike know at a glance that a room is clean, such as sanitizing strips to mark cleaned chairs and equipment.
“While we know the room is clean, these little details help communicate that to others. It reminds patients they are being cared for in multiple ways,” said Mosley.
Implementing set-up standards for patient rooms creates a more efficient process for the technicians, in turn, helping them turn over rooms for the next patient in a timely manner. That includes a welcome card location, towels, a number of pillows and more.
Added hospitality training has brought new customer service elements. For instance, the team started folding washcloths into a fan shape, as you might find in a hotel room. Latara Hicks, a cleaning technician who has been at White Rock for three years, said it was easy to learn the folds and add it to her routine, and it makes people smile.
Morning, midday and evening rounding also ensures patient rooms remain clean and, therefore, impacts a patient’s entire stay.
EVS staff use “AIDET” when entering patient rooms as a guide to greet and explain their role to patients and guests. In healthcare, AIDET is a communications standard that means: acknowledge, introduce, duration, explanation and thank you. “This helps us all be able to enter a room, greet the patient and introduce ourselves. This is something we’re doing every day for every patient,” Mosley said.
“I tell my team all the time that we can make a big impact. We clean, but we are so much more because we connect with our patients. We see them every day, and we build a relationship with them,” he said. “We visit with the patients; we pray with them; we laugh with them.”