Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. ~Willa A Foster
All hospital environmental service departments have some form of quality assurance process. However often the cleaning inspections are done when it is slow, and are given up when the department gets busy.
The message given to our staff is that we are only concerned about quality when we do not have other work to do.
When the real truth is that the delivery of consistent quality service is what we must deliver and needs to be consistently measure and acted upon.
Here are four reasons to measure quality
1. Hourly Staff: Staff quickly understands that the review is consistent and important to management. This is, in fact the most important reason. Most staff respond well to an appropriate inspection system that is consistent, fair and well communicated. Use the results to recognize good performance first before focusing on areas that need improvement. An inspection report that is discussed with a staff member will produce a quality improvement in the next room they clean.
2. Training: The process is key in identifying department wide training needs. Overall trends in the cleaning of specific areas or items can be easily identified and the appropriate corrective training put in place before a quality problem gets out of hand.
3. Goals: The department wide establishment of goals and the measurement of progress toward the goals is a key motivator for hourly and management staff alike. A good use of quality results is to incorporate them into performance appraisals as key indicators of personal performance.
4. Results: With a fully implemented quality process there is a direct connection between daily quality measurement scores and quarterly patient satisfaction results. In other words, quality measurement is a key process in driving improvement in patient satisfaction. Remember it is not the inspection that drives the improvement it is the actions taken with that information that drives improvement.