Environmental services (EVS) metrics produce solid outcomes, improve staffing patterns, and increase patient satisfaction scores. When analyzed properly, metrics can provide keys to trends, assist management with proper forecasting, and hold team members accountable as well as allow them to celebrate success. Proper metrics drive process improvement and help to focus the direction of the EVS department.
There are many types of metrics utilized in environmental services and housekeeping departments around the country, from square-footage covered per full-time employee to equipment repair service requests. In health care settings specifically, there are a few major metrics that organization leaders will review, including: patient satisfaction, employee engagement, bed throughput, and staff retention.
Patient satisfaction is often reviewed yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily to identify levels of services, trending results, and best practices. This data can be broken down in many ways, including by floor, unit, discipline, housekeeper coverage, manager responsibility, and a host of other factors. In-depth data review allows management to work on deficiencies as well as reward great results.
In an increasingly more inclusive and employee-friendly health care industry, employee engagement has been catapulted to the forefront for many in the C-suite. Employees are surveyed more often to gauge their satisfaction with management, senior leadership, supplies, pay, and a host of other items deemed important by administration. Filtering these metrics becomes the playbook for stop-light reports, future staff meetings, and huddles.
Placing patients requiring in-patient care into a hospital room is critical, so being able to turn the room around in a safe and efficient manner is key. The EVS department plays a huge role in bed throughput, as it is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the room to make it ready for the next patient. Often a great deal of pressure is placed upon the housekeeping specialist because there is always another patient waiting to occupy a vacated room. Simultaneously, it is important for staff to properly clean the room, taking the appropriate time to address all high-touch areas sufficiently to prevent the transmission of germs from the previous patient to the current patient.
In addition to monitoring the number of beds your facility is turning over, quality assurance room inspections are also a vital metric to ensure all areas of the room are cleaned appropriately. Share inspection results with EVS staff members who are responsible for cleaning, as this goes a long way in building a solid relationship with the team and provides a better understanding of the room cleaning expectations.
Employee turnover is very expensive due to recruiting costs, time spent on training, employee health screenings, etc. In addition, the candidate pool for front-line staff is very competitive as there may be several hospitals, hotels, restaurants, airports, etc. recruiting the same associates.
With this in mind, it’s important to understand what attracts staff to your facility and what is needed to keep them with the organization. Many EVS managers provide certain perks and benefits to keep retention levels high. These perks can include free parking, discounted meals at on-site food outlets, bus passes, ride-share vouchers, or perfect attendance gift cards.
There are a number of methods for monitoring staff retention efforts, but here are two numbers-based examples:
- Conduct exit interviews of staff who are transferring or leaving the organization to go to another job.
- Complete a regular market analysis of competitive wages, benefits, and perks, and then compare how your organization measures up.
One of the most impactful things you can do to assist with staff retention and improving your metrics is get to know your associates through meaningful conversations. Take a genuine interest in your team; remember people are our most valuable resources. We must make our associates our No. 1 customers and give them the necessary tools and equipment to the job, in addition to training, encouragement, and support. If we put them first, they can make our patients, visitors, guests, and coworkers No. 1, as well.
Put Your Results Into Play
Oftentimes we can use metrics to help get buy-in on staffing decisions. As organizations grow and become increasingly busy, metrics can show where an increase or adjustment in the number of full-time employees may be necessary.
As we strive to make our organizations better each and every day, we must utilize metrics to keep us on track and hold us accountable. Metrics can be displayed in many forms, such as line and bar graphs, pie charts, etc., allowing managers to gain an understanding of the data and put the information into digestible bites for the team. Once we reach an understanding of the data, it’s possible to make process improvements and continue to grow our organizations by improving outcomes.