New research conducted by Compass One Healthcare and Press Ganey provides evidence that patients’ perceptions of safe, high-quality, patient-centered care are influenced by every touch point across the care experience, including patient interactions and experiences with members of the Environmental Services (EVS) and Food and Nutrition Services (FANS) teams.
In the recently released white paper, “The Influence of EVS, FANS Outcomes on Patient Safety and Loyalty,” research determined that caregiver teamwork is the strongest predictor of patient loyalty. It found that when room cleanliness and the quality and service of meals do not meet patients’ expectations, their perceptions of the care experience are affected, including how well the team worked together to care for them.
“Teamwork is so important to a patient’s perception of care,” said Dusty Deringer, Vice President of Patient Experience for Compass One Healthcare. “When they are asked about how well the team worked together to care for them, patients don’t think only about what the clinical team did for them. They include the processes, standards, and behaviors of people on non-clinical teams as well.”
Some of the report’s key findings include the following:
Loyalty is Highest Among Patients with Clean Rooms and High-Quality Food Service. More than 95 percent of patients are likely to recommend a hospital when they give high ratings to their food service and room cleanliness. When neither one receives a top rating, it drops to 76 percent.
Combining Teamwork with Cleanliness Makes a Difference. Nearly 93 percent of patients were likely to recommend a hospital if they ranked both teamwork and room cleanliness high. But when cleanliness dropped and teamwork remained a top rating, only 78 percent gave their recommendation.
Clean Rooms Have an Impact on Patient Safety. Data show that patient perception of room cleanliness is associated with a key safety outcome: the incidence of catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). When patients gave top ratings to both room cleanliness and working relationships with Registered Nurses (RNs), 86 percent of units studied had no CAUTIs and the average number of CAUTIs was .15 per 1,000 catheter days.
When room cleanliness did not get a top rating and RN relationships did, the study found that only 48 percent of units had zero CAUTIs and the average number of CAUTIs per catheter day jumped to 1.06.
The study recommends that hospitals take a number of steps to engage their EVS and food services staffs to help improve patient experience. Their recommendations include:
- Involving EVS and FANS workers in daily nursing staff huddles, department meetings, training and development sessions and monthly staff meetings. This is critical to maintaining morale and keeping the team connected.
- Developing a recognition and rewards program for support staff based on customer service, safety, company values, quality and attendance.
- Encourage nurses to invite EVS managers to accompany them during rounding. This will demonstrate there is a shared responsibility and helps build a constructive relationship between the two groups.
- EVS associates should include nurses and other medical professionals when they celebrate key milestones, such as reaching HCAHPS goals for room cleanliness.
The report concludes that the clear association between patients’ perceptions of room cleanliness and CAUTI rates is closely tied to a room’s actual cleanliness.
“Patients know ‘clean’ when they see it,” said Derringer. “Making consistent assessment and improvement of cleaning methods and procedures an operational priority ensures a strong defense against the spread of infection. Organizations should also take EVS procedures a step further by recognizing the important role EVS staff members play in patient and clinical quality improvement efforts.”
“Knowing that the care experience encompasses everyone who comes into contact with patients, hospital leadership should foster a work environment in which nonclinical support staff understand, and feel, their value as caregivers,” said Charles Hagood, President, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey.
To read the full report, click here.
About Compass One Healthcare
Compass One Healthcare is the union of two premier healthcare specialists—Morrison Healthcare food and nutrition services and Crothall Healthcare support services. Compass One Healthcare’s 47,000 engaged team members are focused on delivering quality, value and exceptional patient experience through specialized services and protocols learned in more than 1,900 hospital and health system locations in 48 states. Through combined three-quarters of a century of healthcare experience, Compass One offers seven customer-focused core services: Food and Nutrition, Environmental, Patient Transportation, Laundry & Linen, Clinical Engineering, Facilities Management, and Ambulatory Services. Compass One Healthcare is committed to the growth and development of its associates, and Modern Healthcare has named Morrison and Crothall Best Places to Work in Healthcare since 2011.
About Press Ganey
Press Ganey pioneered the health care performance improvement movement more than 35 years ago. Today Press Ganey offers an integrated suite of solutions that enable enterprise transformation across the patient journey. Delivered through a cutting-edge digital platform built on a foundation of data security, Press Ganey solutions address safety, clinical excellence, patient experience, and workforce engagement. The company works with more than 41,000 health care facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care.