EXPLORE - Summer 2014 - (Page 7)
A MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD
THE CHANGING FACE OF
Lisa Ford, BS, CHESP
AHE At-Large Board Member
EVS Director/Sodexo General Manager
Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
Camden, New Jersey
he face of health care is changing-changing at a
very fast pace. Hospitals are seeing a strong shift
from inpatient care to outpatient care, patients
are utilizing urgent care centers versus emergency
rooms, and patients are qualifying as observation
status versus inpatient status. This has all had a
huge impact on hospital reimbursements. The change is happening at what seems like rapid speed. Health care professionals are
experiencing unprecedented times, and we need to know how
to survive in a climate we have never experienced before. What
we all should realize is that it is not a phase we are going through;
this is our new reality. We need to not only understand it and get
used to it, but also prosper in it.
Reimbursements are one of the greatest obstacles facing
health care. Environmental Services (EVS) professionals need
to have a clear understanding of how our profession ties into
those reimbursements and how we can have a positive affect
on them. EVS is a cost center for hospitals. We have an impact on
the reimbursements from HCAHPS scores, but we also need to
demonstrate our impact on reducing hospital acquired infections
(HAIs). Some may refer to those costs as "soft costs," but it's money
we lose when we have to spend it, and there is also a huge cost
to the affected patient and their family.
EVS has to not only show value as a cost center, but I feel it
has to constantly vie for its place in the "food chain." Clinical staff
is constantly stretched to meet the direct needs of the patients.
Any of those "non-clinical" tasks that clinical staff have done in
the past are slowly moving down on their priority list. In some
cases, EVS is being asked to pick some of those up as additional
tasks since we're considered a support service.
Many of our EVS technicians have done the same job for 20+
years. To add to the challenge, many of our supervisory level
professionals are not experienced at being change agents.
Breaking through the obstacles
How can EVS better impact the new world it is experiencing?
Some of the obvious things: We can make sure the patients who
do visit our hospitals and health care settings experience a clean
environment and that their risk of acquiring an HAI is drastically
reduced because our staff is proficient in the proper use of chemicals and cleaning of high-touch surfaces. We can strive on proper
hand hygiene. If patients are utilizing urgent care centers more,
then we need to ensure that the patients coming in the doors of
the emergency room are taken care of promptly.
Demonstrate the way your team touches the environment.
Hospital leaders may not be aware of the necessary tasks you
may be doing that add value to the patient experience. Speak of
it every chance you get.
As mentioned, these are unprecedented times. We need to
redefine our value as EVS professionals. This may not be as easy as
www.ahe.org I EXPLORE I Summer 2014 7
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of EXPLORE - Summer 2014
Message From the Board
A Comprehensive Approach to Surface Disinfection
A Soft-Surface Intervention
Leverage and Maximize
Meet a Chesp
Ahe News & Updates
EXPLORE - Summer 2014