Case study

Building Efficiency
and Pride

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, with more than 337,000 square feet and 182 patient beds, is one of several hospitals in the Inova Health System that has been adopting Crothall’s processes and methods to raise their standard of care and increase collaboration between departments.


Crothall Healthcare has redefined “patient experience” in hospital settings, with processes that build value into patient interactions and reward the skills and efforts of their managers and staff.


At a Glance

  • Customer

    Inova Fair Oaks Hospital

  • Customer Size

    182 Beds

  • Industry

    Acute Care

Keep Reading

Read how Crothall improved Inova Fair Oaks Hospital's culture


The Best Environment for Care

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital has distinguished itself with High Profile Cleaning, Crothall’s signature method for focusing environmental services as a single skill to provide a safe patient zone. HPC includes 10 sequential steps to ensure a sanitized environment, while staff members also engage with patients using the EVS concept of communications: the “eye contact, voice projection and smile” that make positive impressions of staff members and engage their patients during their daily visit.

OMIT – operational mitigation of infection transmission – is Crothall’s new related program to combat hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly C. Diff bacteria. Environmental service workers are allocated specifically to C. Diff rooms and no other, stopping the travel of this highly contagious pathogen between sections.

“I think [OMIT] is a great example to Crothall’s commitment to partner with an organization to improve patient outcomes,” said Michelle Peninger, Senior Director of Infection Prevention and Control for Inova Health System. The effect has been obvious at Inova Fair Oaks: “No one has ever come to us as the root cause of HAIs” since OMIT debuted, according to Amie Hatt, Director of Environmental Services at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.

E2 – “efficient and effective” – adds value to High Profile Cleaning by determining daily staffing needs with
a daily census of patient rooms. Since Inova Fair Oaks adopted E2 in November 2014, HCAHPS scores have increased by more than 10 percent.

Crothall’s process focuses on empowering staff to specialize in tasks. “Once housekeepers got to do what they loved to all day, either engaging with the patients during occupied room cleans or supporting the nursing unit during discharge cleans, you really noticed them start to shine,” said Hatt.

Top Grades in Managing Change

Inova Fair Oaks has also thrived with A3, a Lean system of change management. Crothall has collaborated with Inova in the journey to “True North” and what is best for the patients. True North is based on Four Pillars – quality, service, affordability, and people. If an indicator of any pillar shows an undesirable result, the A3 process provides a one-page snapshot of what happened, what is being done about it, and how its results are changing.

Crothall thrives on open communication with other hospital departments. When the EVS call logs showed an increased volume of calls regarding lack of restroom supplies on the postpartum unit, Crothall managers created an A3 and worked with the nursing department to find the best ways of cleaning and resupplying rooms while not disturbing new mothers and their families.

“It’s a very good process because we can go back to the staff with a plan to figure out why something’s not working optimally,” said Hatt. “Calls about restocking, scheduling lunch hours, our bed tracking system: every issue can be improved quickly with an A3.” This system has helped Inova Fair Oaks experience higher HCAHPS scores while bed turnaround times dropped by more than a third.

Letting GEMs Shine

Employee engagement comes first in Crothall’s methods, and Inova Fair Oaks is proving the value of putting staff first. Named for the conviction that “great employees make magic,” the GEM program rewards the extra sparkle and shine shown by exemplary employees.

One staff member becomes “GEM of the Month” rewarded on facets including patient service, attendance, and feedback from patients. The employee receives a gift card, recognition on a plaque, and consideration for GEM of the Year with further rewards. In 2015, one Inova Fair Oaks employee became GEM of the Year, GEM of the Region, and ultimately GEM of the Division.

Staff recognition is not limited to individuals who exemplify Crothall’s values of integrity, leadership, collaboration, professional development, and accountability. The Inova Fair Oaks EVS department hosts regular celebrations when the hospital’s HCAHPS scores in cleanliness are above 80% in the top box, when a new class of employees earn their certifications in High Profile Cleaning, or to acknowledge good safety performances.

Bed Turnaround Times at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital

Q1 2015 – 75 minutes
Q2 2015 – 60 minutes
Q3 2015 – 59 minutes
Q4 2015 – 48 minutes
Q1 2016 – 48 minutes
For more information on Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, click here.

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