The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) piloted its new certification program for environmental services workers at Renown Healthcare in Reno, Nev. Renown is the first healthcare system in the U.S. to implement the Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician (CHEST) program, designed to set performance and knowledge criteria for frontline technicians in healthcare.
"We were very pleased to pilot the CHEST program," says Chris Baker, manager of facility operations at Renown Healthcare. "Renown values the critical role environmental services plays in patient satisfaction and outcomes. We chose to invest in CHEST training and certification to validate the knowledge and skills of our frontline workforce, and ensure Renown is in the forefront, providing the best and most professional level of care to our customers from the ground up."
Renown Healthcare selected nine staff members in key supervisory positions to participate in AHE's innovative CHEST Train-the-Trainer (TTT) program at their Reno location. The TTT model allows healthcare organizations to provide certification training in-house and present the curriculum and training as often as is needed. "The structure of the program is brilliant," notes Baker, "it's perfect for our needs."
CHEST certifies that healthcare environmental services frontline technicians are trained and knowledgeable in essential work-related domains and protocols such as infection prevention, evidence-based cleaning practices, proper waste and linen handling, safety, and effective communication.
Renown has already begun the process of certifying its frontline workforce. Eleven of more than 150 environmental services technicians have already completed the program and taken their exam.