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Survey results released today by Orkin, LLC and the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) reveal that staffing is currently the most pressing issue for healthcare environmental services (ES) professionals.
The survey of more than 2,000 ASHES members asked about sustainability practices, pest management challenges and which job responsibilities weigh the most on their minds.
ASHES members who responded – primarily chiefs, directors or managers of ES – most often listed hiring, retention, training and management of quality staff as a top concern. Other challenges included fiscal management, infection control, cleaning practices and meeting regulatory standards. These issues affect core responsibilities of the ES professional, and respondents indicated that infection control is a top priority along with pest control, patient safety and cleaning practices.
“It comes as no surprise that staffing issues are top of mind for these professionals, due to the increasing budgetary pressures on the industry and the mounting responsibilities of ES staff,” says ASHES executive director Patti Costello. “With that in mind, ASHES will continue to provide opportunities to help our members retain and train their best people.”
The survey indicated that respondents want more staff training on pest management:
-- Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents expressed interest in onsite training.
-- A vast majority of respondents (80 percent) indicated that Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training would be most helpful and only about half (54 percent) currently use an IPM program.
-- Bed bugs present an ongoing concern to the healthcare and long-term care industry. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) said bed bug training would be welcomed.
To respond to these needs, Orkin is offering free, onsite IPM training for ES teams that qualifies every participant for a continuing professional education unit from ASHES.
“IPM training takes a comprehensive, preventive approach to pest management and reduces the need for chemical treatments in sensitive environments like health care facilities,” says Dr. Ron Harrison, Orkin’s director of technical services. “Because a proactive approach requires the participation of the whole ES team, training staff to know what to look for and how to respond is essential to IPM success.”
Healthcare professionals can visit www.HealthCarePestControl.com to request free, on-site IPM training and find other training resources about pest management in healthcare facilities. The site also provides a self-assessment survey to evaluate the user’s current pest management practices.