EXPLORE - Spring 2014 - (Page 9)
EVS is Changing-Prove Your Value
By Colby C. Morris, CHESP
he future of health care is
as clear and certain as the
muddy windows you clean
after a rainy day. We have
certainly heard the doom
and gloom, and yet we
also hear the promise of improvement.
In today's health care environment, that
means change. But, for you, the environmental services (EVS) professional, the
future is marked by the necessity of change.
Showing your value
The EVS professional, as we know it, will
and should fade away. Gone are the days of
just assuring the place is clean. The task of
walking the areas to straighten the chairs
in the lobby is enhanced, but only by the
interactions you will have while doing so.
The days of only providing an overtime and
supply-expense report to your boss are
gone. In its place you will show the value
that the position, your position, provides
to the hospital.
Value, by definition, is relative worth,
merit or importance. The changing role of
the EVS professional is one of adding value,
partnering with patients and nurses, and
demonstrating the importance of our position by adding a defined, tangible value to
the facility. That value could be shown in
HCAHPS scores, your Press Ganey scores or
other patient satisfaction evaluations. EVS
now has an even greater responsibility for
HCAHPS scores that will help determine
the hospital's reimbursements.
You could also show your value in how
you manage your budget, your payroll and
how you collaborate on issues in other
departments. We have valuable insight
concerning what materials should and
should not be used in particular areas.
We should be the right-hand partner of
the infection control department. When
people wonder who can get something
accomplished, you and your department
should be one of the first mentioned.
Hospitals are changing -
More and more hospitals are moving
toward building clinics and surgery centers.
Acute outpatient care settings are moving
away from the hospital. The hospital itself
will provide service to the sicker, more critical patients. In that case, you need to know
how to provide better service to this new
patient mix and be able to quantify the
value. You will need to provide ATP (adenosine triphosphate) results to your infection
control department. It will also become
a way to evaluate your EVS technicians.
"The changing role of the EVS professional is
one of adding value, partnering with patients
and nurses, and demonstrating the importance
of our position by adding a defined, tangible
value to the facility."
You will move toward actual measureable
results (objective) instead of your opinion
(subjective) of how clean surfaces are.
Much of this may sound like things
you're already doing. However, you will
need to be proactive in looking at your
business and trying to figure out the
answer to one question: "What's next?"
You will be the one who can decide and
act on those things you see as must-have
action items. You are the one who will be
called upon to think out of the box to solve
an issue. Do you need to recommend moving toward no-wax flooring? If you have
to cut staff in the future, which positions
would you need to cut? What things will
you recommend that your team either
stop doing or do less of? Do you have
the political and social capital to make
that happen? You have to be the one to
see into your future and take control of it
before it is here.
EVS is changing. Prove your value.
Show that you know what it takes to be
in the business - not just in the operations,
but in the business. That time is now. You
have to be the constant, because from
here on out in health care, the only constant is change.
Colby C. Morris,
CHESP, is assistant
director - facilities
operations for environmental services at the
largest pediatric hospital in the nation, Texas Children's Hospital
in Houston. Morris is experienced in both
contract EVS and in-house services and has
taught leadership for more than 15 years.
www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Spring 2014 9
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Spring 2014
A Message from the President
The Future of EVS
Encouraging Positive Change
Leaders Share their Expertise Related to Health Care Reform and its Impact on the EVS Professional
AHE News & Updates
OneTogether Word Search
EXPLORE - Spring 2014