environmental services

Environmental Services: An Integral Component to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

In the war against COVID-19, doctors and nurses are bearing the brunt of the work and the stresses that come with it. But they’re far from the only ones in the trenches. At hospitals, clinics and long-term care facility, the environmental services (EVS) team plays a huge role in preventing the spread of disease.

Responsible for keeping patient rooms, common areas and offices clean and sterilized, EVS professionals need to maintain high standards. A deviance from protocol can have disastrous effects on the entire facility, allowing infection to spread unchecked.

Because of the critical role the EVS team plays, it’s crucial that they have proper training and support. Most will work closely with infection preventionists (IPs) to ensure best practices are being followed.

Creating an Effective Training Plan

For the EVS team to be successful, care should be taken to create an effective training plan that allows time for verbal instruction, hands-on practice and training on the chemicals and cleaning products they’ll be dealing with on a daily basis.

If your facility contracts professionals from an EVS agency, much of the training will likely have taken place before the worker arrives. Be sure that their standards and procedures align with yours and that any deviations are discussed in advance.

If your facility hires in-house, your role in training will be more involved. This can be a benefit, as you’ll be able to train to your own specifications.

Areas of Focus

Different facilities will have different EVS need. A chiropractor’s clinic, for instance, won’t have the same level of complex needs as a hospital ICU. At minimum, training should be provided in the following areas:

  • Chemicals and cleaning agents
  • Appropriate donning and doffing technique
  • Necessary PPE
  • Sterilization
  • Disinfection techniques (hydrogen peroxide and UV light systems)
  • High and low touch areas
  • Notification systems and procedures (how EVS professionals will know which room/area to clean and when)

Training should be provided on an ongoing basis and regularly evaluated for effectiveness.

In medical facilities, EVS professionals play a crucial role in preventing the spread of disease, so proper training is an absolute must.

Training environmental services employees can be difficult. Proper PPE storage doesn’t have to be. PPE door caddies from Protection First help your EVS team stay safe and keep your facility clean.