JPS named 2017 Environmental Services Department of the Year

September 8th, 2017

Environmental Services at JPS has been named 2017 Environmental Services Department of the Year in a national competition established to spotlight outstanding performance in hospitals, landing team members on the cover of the American Hospital Association’s Health Facilities Management Magazine.

Dr. Helene Alphonso

“Collaboration is a hallmark of the culture at JPS Health Network,” begins a story in the magazine’s September issue. “This is what makes the network’s Environmental Services (EVS) department excel.”

“’Our culture here at JPS allows us to work in tandem with our nursing staff, with our doctors and with our administrators to do what is best for our patients,’” says Louis Bedford, executive director of EVS, Textile Processing and Transportation. “’Everything we do is for the betterment of the patient. All of our teams are working together.’”

Environmental services at JPS is an integrated partnership with Austin-based HHS. In many facilities, outsourcing environmental services creates staff disconnect. “’This isn’t the case at JPS,’” Bedford explains. HHS employees are part of the team, included in performance-incentive programs and team member recognition activities. Housekeeper Alice Borja received the John Peter Smith Excellence Award in 2016.

Patient room cleanliness is among the items patients are asked to rate in post-discharge surveys of their experience in the hospital, affecting the hospital’s overall HCAHPS scores. Scores on room cleanliness rose from the 19th percentile in 2015 to the 41st percentile in 2016.

Also boosting JPS’ standing in the 2017 competition was a partnership with Infection Control to increase quality control. Sterile rooms are swab-tested for the presence of adenosine triphosphate, which can indicate inadequate cleaning of surfaces. The first-pass rate for swab testing rose from 78 percent in 2015 to 95 percent in 2016. Swab-test results are continuously shared and discussed at monthly meetings with Infection Control.

EVS also won praise for technology driven efforts to improve hand hygiene, and the recycling program at JPS.

“’It’s all about the team effort,’” says Bedford. “’It’s all about what we’re all trying to do to make sure that we’re taking care of the patients here. We make sure staff get training, we make sure they feel comfortable before we put them out in an area by themselves. And then we applaud and we recognize employees who do well.’”

The Environmental Services Department of the Year competition is a joint effort of the Association for the Healthcare Environment, hygiene product maker Tork and the AHA’s Health Facilities Management Magazine.

Link to the magazine article

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