2011 Environmental Services Department of the Year Award Winner Announced

As hospitals continue to focus on ways to improve patient safety by employing best practices in cleaning the hospital environment, Health Forums Health Facilities Management magazine and the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) have selected Advocate Christ Medical Center/Hope Childrens Hospital (ACMC), Oak Lawn, Ill., as the winner of the 2011 Environmental Services (ES) Department of the Year Award. The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia received the Finalist Award in this years program.

The fifth annual award, sponsored by Cintas Corp., recognizes the outstanding achievements of a leading-edge hospital ES/housekeeping team in maintaining the highest levels of performance in 13 critical areas, including:

- Infection control and prevention

- Patient safety initiatives

- Customer service

- Waste reduction and recycling initiatives

- Employing advanced technologies to improve efficiency

- Staff education/training

- Patient satisfaction

- Engaging senior management in the ES departments success

The awards are based on performance levels achieved during the 2010 calendar year.

Among the ACMC teams many accomplishments were scoring in the 95th percentile nationally for room cleanliness and courtesy at Hope Childrens Hospital and reducing patient room turnover times from 73 minutes to 44 minutes. In addition, the team contributed to the facilitys success in significantly reducing health care-associated infections. Overall, ACMC saw a 55 percent decrease in Clostridium difficile rates thanks to the integrated working relationship between the environmental services team and infection prevention specialists. The team also has implemented effective recycling and waste management programs, including a sharps recycling program that is expected to achieve savings of $350,000 over a five-year period.

The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia ES Team achieved similarly impressive results. Its waste reduction programs have helped the institution avoid more than $845,000 in costs annually when compared with expenses incurred over the previous five years. Its evidence-based surface cleaning monitoring program, close working relationship with infection prevention specialists and other factors have led to sustained reductions in hospital-associated viral infection rates. The hospitals nosocomial viral infection rate was at or below 0.5 per 1,000 patient days in nine of 12 months in 2010. The teams innovative and comprehensive staff-training programs also have contributed to sustained performance improvement.

A panel of judges selected by Health Facilities Management and AHE reviewed this years entry applications and selected ACMC based on its documented results in 13 performance criteria. The award was presented to Karen Martin, RN, ACMCs director of infection prevention and environmental services, at the AHE conference in Orlando. Nancy Schneck, director of environmental and linen services, and Tina Cermignano, CHESP, business and department operations manager, accepted the Finalist Award on behalf of The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia.

- Union Hospital, Terre Haute, Ind.

- Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, N.J.

- Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Hamilton (N.J.)

- Evans Army Hospital, Fort Carson, Colo.

- Baptist Memorial Hospital, Union City, Tenn.

- Altru Health Systems, Grand Forks, N.D.

Certificates of Merit also were issued to: