Training Top 125 Best Practice: Compass One Healthcare’s EVS Frontline Onboarding Training

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Training Top 125 Best Practice: Compass One Healthcare’s EVS Frontline Onboarding Training

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Compass One Healthcare’s Environmental Services (EVS) Frontline Onboarding Training began as an update of the existing EVS onboarding training but quickly evolved into a complete overhaul, including converting delivery methods from mostly live instructor-led training conducted by operators in the EVS department at every hospital served to blended training with an emphasis on e-learning modules compatible across devices and accessed via the company’s learning management system (LMS). By converting the content to e-learning modules, Compass One operators and the clients it serves were assured that all new EVS frontline associates received the same training content and information.

Program Details

The EVS Frontline Associate Onboarding training includes the critical hand hygiene training every new hire must know and follow. The training curriculum has two parts:

1. Core curriculum of four e-learning modules every new EVS frontline associate must complete

2. “Elective” modules (five available) that are assigned based on the associate’s role and duties

The first module in the core curriculum is “Environmental Services 101,” which features important hand hygiene protocols. Additionally, there is a microlearning video on hand washing available in the Training Video Library on the L+D page on the Compass One intranet site.

The three remaining core curriculum e-learning modules are “Isolation Room Cleaning,” “General Waste & Soiled Linen Handling,” and “Specialized Medical Waste.”

The elective modules are “MRI Cleaning,” “NICU Cleaning,” “Specialty Procedural Areas,” “Carpet Care,” and “Hard Floor Care.”

E-learning modules include learning check quizzes and a final graded assessment. The online learning is followed by on-site shadowing and hands-on demonstration of skills learned with a manager.

For reinforcement, L+D provided a Frontline Onboarding & Training Plan Template for operators to follow. The plan features three stages:

  • Prepatory: Steps done prior to associate start date
  • Orientation: First day and first week activities
  • Integration: Ongoing onboarding over three timeframes: first 90 days, first six months, and end of the first year

Activities associated with each stage are described, and managers may customize the plan to be relevant to the associate’s role. There also is a template for 30- and 90-day stay conversations.

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Compass One Healthcare’s president and four division presidents (DPs) in EVS provided input and feedback on the training during development. They nominated operators to be subject matter experts on the project team led by L+D. The DPs also gave input on which of four rollout waves operations would be assigned based on technological readiness. A large investment and deployment of technology—laptops and tablets—was required for the new program. Based on results of a technology survey across all EVS operations conducted by L+D, the EVS president committed to funding the number of laptops and/or tablets recommended by location.

As part of the launch of the new training program, the EVS president provided an announcement message and endorsement of the new program as part of the overall marketing campaign.


After the last wave completed rollout of the new training in September 2018, tracking new hire training completions began. The percentage of new EVS hires completing the onboarding training steadily increased every month, going from 57% in October 2018 to 80% percent in August 2019 as more and more operators embraced the program. Unit level safety champions reported observing an increase in associates practicing good hand hygiene. In April 2019, engagement survey results showed that 93 percent of associates responded favorably to the statement, “I receive the training I need to do my job safely and well,” up from 72 percent in the previous engagement survey.

Infection Control reviews showed reductions in Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs). An HAI incident may result in a lower rating on post-discharge patient satisfaction surveys such as HCAHPS or Press Ganey. If Compass One Healthcare fails to achieve contracted patient satisfaction survey benchmarks, potential additional revenue on earned incentives is lost or there may be a penalty that results in paying a penalty fee or foregoing some or all of the organization’s management fees.

Compass One Healthcare saw no negative impact on patient satisfaction survey scores, so potential financial penalties were largely avoided. As a result, the organization realized a 4.53 percent revenue increase and 5.65 percent profit increase against goals of 4.67 percent revenue and 5.27 percent profit increases vs. the previous year.

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Written by: Lorri Freifeld