UMF Case Study Supports Role of Improved Environmental Hygiene at Rush-Copley Medical Center

A new UMF Corporation case study examines the role of improved environmental hygiene in lowering infections and raising HCAHPS Scores at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Ill. The case study, Improved Environmental Hygiene Lowers Infections and Raises HCAHPS Scores at Rush-Copley, examines how environmental services (ES) leadership at the 210-bed Level II trauma center set out in 2010 to improve patient satisfaction on the "Cleanliness of the Hospital Environment" section of the federal governments Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). And in 2012, the hospital enrolled in the state of Illinois Campaign to Eliminate Clostridium difficile, of which environmental cleaning and monitoring is a primary element for success.

This two-pronged initiative has helped Rush-Copley to decrease its C. difficile rates by more than 50 percent, well below the national average. And, the work has resulted in a significant improvement in the hospitals national HCAHPS percentile ranking for patient satisfaction with room cleanliness, putting Rush-Copley ahead of other local hospitals.

According to the case study, as part of the initiative, ES staff members have been given a role in informing patients and their families of how a thorough cleaning process is protecting them.

According to Elizabeth Sainski, a Sodexo manager responsible for hospitality and environmental services at Rush-Copley, ES staff members are instructed on how to enter the patient room, introduce themselves, let patients know they are there to clean and disinfect, that they will use separate color coded wipers and flat mops for the patient room and the bathroom, and only use them in that room to prevent the spread of bacteria and eliminate cross-contamination.

The scripting while in the room is very important, Sainski said, because the ES staff member is actively telling the patient how the cleaning is protecting him or her, thereby changing the perception of the cleaning and the sense of room cleanliness.

In 2011, Rush-Copley implemented UMF Corporations PerfectCLEAN Hygiene Specialist® program, a rigorous training and education of ES staff, after which participating members are designated as Hygiene Specialists.

The case study, part of UMF Corporations Intervention Series, can be downloaded from the companys website at

Source: UMF Corporation