Keeping our Hospital Clean
An interview with Kevin Dyer, Director of Environmental Services
The safety of our patients and staff members has been at the forefront of what we do for as long as we've been serving our community. But since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased focus has been placed on hygiene and cleaning protocols. Our environmental services department - the team responsible for cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms, furnishing, and other work spaces - has always followed cleaning guidelines, and in recent months has worked to increase sanitizing and disinfecting of the Hospital to keep our patients and staff safe.
How has your Environmental Services team come together to keep the hospital clean throughout this pandemic? What changes have been made?
Kevin: Over the past several months, we've increased our cleaning standards throughout the Hospital. High touch surfaces, like elevator buttons, desks, and chairs are being cleaned several times a day. Cleaning of other high traffic areas like the cafeteria, public bathrooms, and office spaces has also increased to further disinfect and reduce the spread of germs. Members of the EVS team have also been using sanitizing products to do thorough cleanings of patient rooms, which can take several hours at a time. All staff members are highly trained in using the proper cleaning supplies to avoid potentially hazardous situations and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment to keep them safe throughout all areas of the hospital.
What types of products and sanitizing equipment do you use?
Kevin: Anything that comes through the hospital, whether it's cleaning wipes, mops, or equipment goes through a thorough review and approval process before it can be used by my team.
While COVID-19 is highly contagious, there are other bacteria - such as MRSA and CDIFF - that are potentially life-threatening, which we aim to remove with each cleaning. We're using germicidal detergents and bleach products that meet the standards set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and are approved by our Infectious Disease Department to use to clean throughout the facility. We also use UV light machines to sanitize surfaces after cleaning with germicidal detergents and bleach.
Members of our Environmental Services Team
How have you been working with other staff throughout the hospital to ensure a clean and safe space?
Kevin: The environmental services team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that every area gets the proper attention it needs. On a daily basis we have had team meetings to stay updated on any areas that need additional cleaning, and hospital staff will always call us if an area needs immediate attention.
I'm proud of my team for what has been accomplished over the past few months. While our cleaning procedure has become more rigorous, my team has stepped up and been available to help wherever it's needed. In a time of a public health crisis, it's been rewarding to come to work every day knowing that everyone on this team and throughout the facility are supporting each other.