Compass One Healthcare and UC Health Collaborate to Raise EVS Patient Satisfaction Scores
Following three years of flat patient satisfaction scores, UC Health’s leadership team decided in late 2020 to overhaul its approach to patient room and hospital cleanliness.
Their decision led to a financial commitment to add Environmental Services (EVS) team members and create a “Culture of Clean” across the entire 726-bed facility. As part of the new culture, department leaders are required to go on patient rounds to observe cleanliness protocols and their bonuses are tied to the cleanliness scores.
“We want to achieve a 5-Star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for our hospital and set the highest possible standards. We knew that new major investments were needed, but we also needed a complete change in our culture to make a major impact. By collaborating with Compass One on a new approach, our scores have risen significantly, and I expect them to continue to climb as part of our commitment to excellent patient satisfaction.”
Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer for UC Health
After several weeks of meetings to develop a new strategy, a collaborative action plan was developed by Compass One and UC Health leadership. The plan was rolled out in January 2021, and it included the following solutions:
1. Establishing a New “Culture of Clean”
For the first time ever, key hospital leaders agreed to have their annual KPIs tied to cleanliness results. Just as important, Compass One’s EVS team and the hospital leadership aligned to accomplish their goals. For example, EVS managers now join nurses and members of the senior leadership team to make regular patient rounds.
UC Health Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Wiehe makes certain everyone from his leadership team participates, including himself.
Teams from both organizations also participate in a “Hospital Appearance” program to cleanse the facility and brighten its appearance. Once each quarter, nurses, hospital staff, and the hospital’s leadership team help the EVS team clean large areas and purge clutter on their units.
Adding Additional EVS Employees Improved Patient Room Coverage
In January 2021, the EVS hourly staff grew by 13%. More than half were housekeeper positions that cleaned patient rooms on the first shift, seven days a week. As a result, the additional team members improved the ratio of patient rooms to EVS technicians for the first shift from 28:1 to 14:1.
Additional associates were added to the second shift to provide a fourth cleaning of each patient room – referred to as “turn down” service. Other new hires were added to the discharge cleaning and floor maintenance teams. Additionally, Patient Ambassadors focused primarily on rounding for all patients in high-priority areas.
The additional frontline associates enabled Compass One to extend the ambassadors’ work over weekends, giving them the ability to make more patient visits and service recoveries to fix any issues.
Finally, Compass One EVS leaders evaluated patient volume and outlined staffing based on the average volume per hour. Four hourly assistant managers were also added to provide support on inspections, rounding on EVS staff, and filling in when a manager was out. This move also helped create a path for growth for EVS team members into full-time management positions.
“Much of our patient satisfaction improvement comes from the quality of work done by Compass One’s new hires, including Patient Ambassadors and frontline cleaning associates providing the “turn down” service. We needed a true partner to make the changes necessary to reach our goals – and these associates are meeting those needs. They’ve made a big impact on our patients. I’m a real believer in the Compass One Patient Experience team.”
Assistant Vice President, Support Services for UC Health
Technology Helps Analyze Cleaning Results, Making Improvements
During the joint rounding, EVS managers used MyRounding software to collect information from patients and make quick improvements to the cleaning service.
For example, they discovered that excess linen was being left in patient rooms – the responsibility of a non-housekeeping associate – making extra work for EVS housekeepers and impacting a patient’s perception of cleanliness.
By catching the problem and documenting it in MyRounding, the linen was removed timely and by the appropriate person, resulting in more time for the housekeeper to clean and disinfect the room.
“To move from a single-digit percentile ranking to well into the double digits is truly amazing. Our collective success can be attributed largely to the collaboration with UC Health’s leadership team. They listened to us, took the time to understand our barriers, and helped alleviate them by working as one. Having supportive client partners makes all the difference. I often reference UC Health when visiting some of my other hospitals that are having similar challenges, to show there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Regional Director of Patient Experience, Compass One Healthcare
Ongoing Communications Keep the Plan on Track
To continually raise awareness of its new “Culture of Clean,” the hospital’s marketing department reinforces this message through its regular communications. For example, Compass One EVS associates are frequently featured in the hospital’s newsletter.
Compass One EVS and hospital leaders also hold monthly meetings to review progress on KPIs and actions needed to reinforce a “Culture of Clean.”
“The hospital’s leadership team made a financial and cultural commitment to improve patient satisfaction, and it is working. After receiving the investments needed in new personnel, we’ve been able to drive operating results. Coupled with the hospital leadership team’s decision to hold everyone accountable for cleanliness, we’ve developed a model for success that can be sustained for many years.”
EVS Unit Director, Compass One Healthcare
- HCAHPS scores have improved dramatically. Scores for cleanliness of the hospital environment rose from 62.1 in 2020’s first quarter to 71.2 by the end of 2021. The goal is to reach 74 by 2024.
- When patients were asked to rate from 1 to 5 “How satisfied are you with the cleaning of your room and bathroom,” UC Health scored an average of 4.96 from 2021’s first quarter to 2022’s first quarter. These responses covered more than 54,000 patient rounds over 15 months.
The increased collaboration between UC Health and the Compass One team has created a foundation for success and pathway to help the hospital achieve its 5-Star CMS rating.
“We needed a true partner to make the changes necessary to reach our goals – one that is decisive and results-oriented. The EVS leadership met those needs. By collaborating with us and executing the plan, we’ve made dramatic progress in making the cleanliness of our hospital a top priority every single day.”
Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer for UC Health