3 Environmental Services in a Hospital

People who are gravely injured or very sick go to hospitals to get better. Regretfully, some patients end up contracting another illness while they’re there.

The term “Healthcare-Associated infection,” or HAI, is contracted by one in every 31 hospital patients on any given day, or around 687,000 patients annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

An HAI is any infection a patient contracts while undergoing therapy for a separate illness. Hospitals need to be on the lookout for the bacteria, fungi, and viruses that cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) because many of these illnesses are difficult to treat due to their resistance to antibiotics.

The good news is that strict infection control protocols, prioritizing hygiene, and sanitation, can prevent a large number of healthcare-associated infections. The Environmental Services team intervenes in this situation.

What is Environmental Services (EVS)?

Environmental services in a hospital, sometimes known as housekeeping or janitorial services, are a term used only in the healthcare industry to refer to the procedures that highly skilled support service personnel use to clean and disinfect patient rooms, medical equipment, and other common areas within healthcare facilities. Environmental services assist in lowering HAIs and stopping infections from spreading.

What does an EVS worker do?

EVS workers, also known as EVS technicians, are highly skilled, non-clinical healthcare personnel who make sure that everyone in a healthcare institution is in a safe environment. EVS personnel regularly communicate with patients and collaborate closely with healthcare staff.

Support service employees like EVS workers have a significant impact on the general healthcare experience, safety, and patients’ propensity to recommend a healthcare facility due to their closeness to both of these groups while cleaning patient rooms.

Environmental Services in a Hospital

Environmental services significantly improve the safe and hygienic conditions in hospitals. Let’s examine a few of the daily responsibilities carried out by environmental services.

  • Cleaning Patient Rooms
  • Disinfecting Medical Equipment
  • Removing Hazardous Waste

1. Cleaning Patient Rooms

The daily cleaning of patient rooms is the responsibility of the hospital’s environmental staff. This entails wiping out counters, switching the bed linens, and replenishing supplies. Maintaining clean and sterilized patient rooms is crucial, as they are a prime location for the spread of illnesses.

2. Disinfecting Medical Equipment

Additionally, environmental services are in charge of cleaning medical supplies, including IV poles and blood pressure cuffs. This aids in halting the transmission of infections among patients.

3. Removing Hazardous Waste

The removal of hazardous garbage, including biological waste and sharp medical objects, falls within the purview of environmental services. It is necessary to appropriately dispose of this garbage to protect patients, guests, and employees.

The Importance of Environmental Services for Hospitals

  • Preventing the Spread of Infections
  • Ensuring Patient Safety
  • Maintaining Hospital Reputation
  • Compliance with Regulations

1. Preventing the Spread of Infections

Preventing the transmission of illnesses is one of the environmental services’ most significant responsibilities to hospitals. Numerous viruses that can infect patients, guests, and staff can be found in hospitals. Environmental services, which routinely clean and disinfect the hospital environment, are essential in stopping the development of infectious illnesses.

2. Ensuring Patient Safety

Ensuring patient safety is one of environmental services’ other key responsibilities. Accidents and injuries, such as slips and falls, can be avoided with the support of a hygienic and secure environment. Hazardous waste that could cause injury if improperly disposed of, such as medical sharps, is another duty of environmental services.

3. Maintaining Hospital Reputation

The cleanliness and safety of a hospital can have a big influence on its reputation. Patients are more inclined to pick a hospital with a good reputation for hygiene and security. Because environmental services make sure the hospital environment is constantly safe and clean, they play a critical role in upholding a hospital’s reputation.

4. Compliance with Regulations

Many rules and guidelines about hygiene and security apply to hospitals. Environmental services must make sure that the hospital environment conforms to these rules and specifications.

How EVS Professionals can Excel in their Role

Teams that provide environmental services (EVS) in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions are the unsung heroes who work in the background.

Their major goal is to keep everything tidy and sanitary so that there is less chance of infection spreading. The following useful advice will help EVS personnel succeed in their positions:

  • Extensive Instruction and Training
  • Adherence to Best Practices
  • Use of Advanced Technologies
  • Collaboration with Infection Control Teams

1. Extensive Instruction and Training

  • Case Study: The EVS department at St. Mary’s Hospital implemented a strict training regimen for its employees. During this program, participants received practical instruction in infection control procedures, appropriate cleaning methods, and disinfectant usage.
  • Real-World Example: The hospital’s infection rates fell below the national average as a consequence of the training, which produced a discernible decline in HAIs.
  • Advice: Make ongoing investments in your EVS team members’ education and training. Ascertain that they realize the significance of their contribution to infection control.

2. Adherence to Best Practices

  • Case Study: As part of its “Clean Sweep” effort, Mayo Clinic targeted the high-touch surfaces found in patient rooms. Employees at EVS were instructed to clean these surfaces regularly according to a set methodology.
  • Real-World Example: As a result, the clinic observed a significant drop in MRSA infections, which are a prevalent and serious health issue.
  • Advice: To guarantee consistency and efficacy, create and execute standardized cleaning processes with an emphasis on high-risk locations.

3. Use of Advanced Technologies

  • Case Study: Robots for UV-C disinfection were installed in the EVS department of the Cleveland Clinic. These robots have drastically decreased the number of infections in rooms by thoroughly disinfecting them with UV light.
  • Real-World Example: The hospital had a 20% decrease in HAIs and an improvement in patient satisfaction ratings in only a single year.
  • Advice: Invest in cutting-edge technologies such as UV-C robots or antimicrobial surfaces to maximize the efficiency of your cleaning endeavors.

4. Collaboration with Infection Control Teams

  • Case Study: The EVS and infection control teams at Massachusetts General Hospital forged a tight collaboration. To talk about infection trends and create improvement initiatives, regular meetings were conducted.
  • Real-World Example: Within two years, this partnership reduced Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections by 30%.
  • Advice: To guarantee that infection prevention initiatives are coordinated, encourage cooperation between your EVS department and infection control teams.

Ways for Hospital Environmental Services Departments to Boost Patient Experience Scores

Here, we outline some crucial tactics that each hospital’s environmental services department can use to raise patient satisfaction ratings.

  • Uniform Cleaning Procedures
  • Regular Training and Education
  • Instantaneous Feedback Systems
  • Prompt Response to Requests
  • Respect for Privacy and Dignity
  • Effective Communication
  • Consistent Odor Control
  • Attention to Detail
  • Green Initiatives
  • Collaboration with Other Departments
  • Regular Audits and Inspections
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making

1. Uniform Cleaning Procedures

The well-being of patients depends critically on the surroundings being kept tidy and hygienic. Environmental services personnel must adhere to strict cleaning procedures, such as regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces, to guarantee that patients are in a clean and safe environment.

2. Regular Training and Education

Invest in the ongoing education and training of environmental services employees. To enhance the patient experience, it is essential to keep them informed about the most recent cleaning methods, infection prevention strategies, and patient engagement tactics.

3. Instantaneous Feedback Systems

Incorporate instantaneous feedback systems to track patient contentment with environmental services. When it comes to the staff’s politeness or the cleanliness of their rooms, patients should be encouraged to voice their opinions so that quick corrections can be made as needed.

4. Prompt Response to Requests

Patients value having their demands answered quickly. Make sure the environmental services staff can respond to patient needs—like extra pillows, blankets, or cleaning services—as soon as they are asked.

5. Respect for Privacy and Dignity

The privacy and dignity of patients should always be respected, according to training for environmental services personnel. Always knock before going into a patient’s room, and act with grace and respect when speaking with them.

6. Effective Communication

The secret to a satisfying patient experience is communication. When describing processes or responding to concerns in a caring way, environmental services staff members should interact with patients and their families clearly and effectively.

7. Consistent Odor Control

Keeping the atmosphere comfortable is crucial for patient comfort. Use odor management techniques to get rid of or lessen any offensive odors that might exist in medical environments.

8. Attention to Detail

Urge the employees of environmental services to pay close attention to details. Patients notice little things like spotless windows, neatly folded bed linens, and well-kept rooms. These minor elements add up to a good first impression.

9. Green Initiatives

Encourage the department’s efforts toward sustainability. Patients often express gratitude to hospitals that try to reduce their environmental impact. Use environmentally friendly cleaning supplies and methods to promote a more sustainable and greener environment.

10. Collaboration with Other Departments

Improve the Department of Environmental Services’ cooperation with other hospital departments. A more satisfying patient experience results from effective cooperation, which guarantees that all patient demands are satisfied, from medical attention to hygiene.

11. Regular Audits and Inspections

To evaluate your facility’s hygiene and adherence to infection control guidelines, conduct routine audits. Urge employees to report any issues with infection control or cleanliness right once.

12. Data-Driven Decision-Making

Examine data on infections to find patterns and areas that need improvement. Make resource allocations and effort concentrations on high-risk areas based on this data.


Service for the environment in hospitals is essential to maintaining a hygienic and secure atmosphere in hospitals. They have a broad range of duties to perform, including disposing of hazardous waste, cleaning patient rooms, and sanitizing medical equipment.

It is impossible to exaggerate the value of environmental services in hospitals. To stop the spread of illnesses, guarantee patient safety, uphold the hospital’s reputation, and adhere to rules, a clean and safe environment is necessary.


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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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