Okay, maybe I was stretching a bit to come up with alliteration for this title. But I was given “insufficient information” as the topic to correlate to the “I” in “C.R.I.M.E.” Regardless of the description, this comes down to what we do to ensure our staff are properly armed with the tools they need to do their jobs. Whether you call it training, instructing or educating it all relates to the fact that we CANNOT expect our staff to know how to correctly use the products and tools to do their jobs unless we TEACH them how to use them. In fact, if we teach everyone the where’s, what’s, why’s and how’s to using disinfectants and cleaning chemicals, we won’t have any stories of how we have seen them used and abused, and should see an improvement in our HAIs and also our HCAHPS.
Since the inception of the Talk Clean To Me blog, there have been a number of different blogs talking to the importance of training to improve infection prevention outcomes. “I Golf therefore I am a Golfer” talked to the 8 areas of training I believe should be included as part of a comprehensive training program that would provide EVS staff with the information they need to do their jobs safely. “Effects of Education Efforts” looked at the definition of education “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgement and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life” to expound on the virtues of training programs.
It’s interesting that in the work of medical device reprocessing, many regions are requiring certification in order to work in the Medical Device Reprocessing (MDR) Department due to the complexity of the job and implications to patient safety if devices are improperly cleaned, disinfected and/or sterilized. I think there is sufficient evidence to support the fact that cleaning of environmental surfaces is also important in improving patient safety and saving lives. Why then should there not be a certification program for environmental services staff? If we agree that certification for MDR Technicians is important and we recognize them for the role they play in the smooth functioning of a facility, why then should we not do the same with EVS?
Would an educated and certified environmental services technician not be viewed, paid, and treated as a knowledgeable professional? EVS Technicians are members of our healthcare team, are they not? Certification or registration would highlight the level of knowledge and expertise they have to do their role effectively. Is it not time to elevate their importance and help them be proud of the profession they have chosen? Is it not time to give them the respect they deserve?