Copley Measures Up its Cleaning Protocols

Knowing your facility is clean is important, especially in a hospital. That’s why Environmental Services (EVS) Manager Jerica Vallie
(pictured) recently implemented a new program to monitor the thoroughness of cleaning and disinfection here at
Copley Hospital. The program ensures proper cleaning, and it engages EVS staff to perform at their best.

According to Vallie, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a checklist of the most frequently touched surfaces in patient rooms and clinical areas. When a patient is discharged, or an outpatient area is vacated, a fluorescent marker is used to identify these frequently touched surfaces. The EVS Technician cleans the room – stripping linens, dusting high ledges, wiping down surfaces, mopping the floor, and re-making the bed for the next patient. When the Technician is done, a supervisor inspects the room to validate that all the marked surfaces have been properly cleaned. The results of each inspection are entered into a spreadsheet maintained by Vallie that provides a total score. Each scored inspection card is returned to the appropriate technician for review.

“What the checklist gives us,” Vallie said, “is essentially a Non subjective grading to show how well we are doing. There are many steps that go into cleaning a room, and at times we can miss something such as doorknobs or light switches. Each Technician is provided with real-time feedback that can be used to see if improvement is needed in the next room. In the few weeks we’ve utilized this tool, our scores have increased significantly. Along with the higher scores, staff feel more of a sense of pride in their work.”

Vallie stressed that the scores generated by the checklist are not meant to be punitive, but rather a training tool to identify the areas that are most – and least – commonly missed. The goal is to provide education and support to staff and a safe and sanitary environment for patients.

“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” Vallie said, quoting advice she received from a colleague, “and this measurement is not only helping us get better at what we do, it is also showing us the good job we’re already doing. Seeing the enthusiasm from staff when they receive a perfect score is so rewarding.”