Three Cheers for EVS

June 25, 2024

Last edition I wrote my editorial about the fine folks in sterile processing. This month, I want to say a few words about those who work in environmental services (EVS).

EVS teams are often thought of as housekeepers or janitorial staff, not as a line of defense against bacteria and viruses. Training and education are often inadequate, time consuming, and not up to par for these departments. One might simply think that you could pluck a housekeeper from a hotel and put them into a hospital with little training, but this is not the case.

I spoke with Monika Berrier, EdD, PMP, director, Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE) Education (page 14) about a new training subscription program for EVS called Skill.Set.Go. The program is from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and led by AHE. There are details of what comes with the program in the article, but what stood out most to me was the notion that all departments in the hospital should be learning. This mindset, I think, is very often overlooked by those in leadership roles. This is understandable due to the day-to-day getting in the way of taking meaningful time for education—which my article this month also touches on.

And speaking of time constraints, in my experience across this brand and the other healthcare brands at Endeavor Business Media (Healthcare Innovation and Medical Laboratory Observer), I’ve noted one of the major pain points from those I’ve interviewed over the years is that “there just isn’t enough time in the day.” Thanks to programs like Skill.Set.Go. from AHE, education can be done on-demand.

Now, back to those working in EVS. I wouldn’t describe the job as glamorous by any means, but individuals in these positions should be praised for being on what I would consider the front line in the fight against microorganisms that are lurking in hospitals. And I believe we should celebrate these individuals by investing in their education and training to ensure their continued success and commitment to what is truly most important: patient safety.

So, let’s have a round of applause for our EVS teams!

About the Author

Janette Wider | Editor-in-Chief

Janette Wider is Editor-in-Chief for Healthcare Purchasing News.