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Practice Makes Perfect: MedStar Simulation and Training Education Lab (SiTEL)

Crothall Healthcare’s Environmental Services (EVS) Division has been setting the standard for hospital cleanliness since its inception in 1991. Our patient-focused strategy for earning trust and lessening anxiety while ensuring environmental satisfaction comes alive in a recent collaboration with MedStar Health System.

MedStar employs Crothall EVS services as well as Facilities Management and Patient Transportation at several of their locations in the Baltimore and Washington, DC, areas. The network’s cutting-edge simulation laboratory, previously reserved for clinical staff, became home to Crothall’s training program in an unprecedented campaign to improve patient outcomes.

“Crothall has been a great partner for MedStar,” said Sean Shapert, Vice President of Environmental and Laundry/Linen Services at MedStar Health System. “They have provided great leadership and been there to right the ship if anything drifted off course.”

Defining “Patient Focus”

High Profile Cleaning (HPC) is Crothall’s signature 10-step process that ensures a clean environment for the patient, clinical staff and visitors in patient rooms. HPC deals with basic sanitation and fights hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) on high-touch surfaces and elsewhere in the space.

But HPC is about far more than cleaning. EVS professionals have a vital opportunity to make patients and their families feel at home in a difficult situation. The mastery of eye contact, voice projection and smiles as part of their progress through a patient’s room can translate directly to visitors’ satisfaction in room cleanliness as well as their entire stay.

“Crothall matches our innovation to our client when it comes to HPC,” said Tony Gill, Crothall EVS Program Manager at MedStar. “The network’s innovative leadership made it easy for us to come in and get the best results for patients by elevating the purpose of our front-line staff.”

Demonstration through Simulation

Crothall found a new opportunity to improve HPC with MedStar’s Simulation Training and Education Lab (SiTEL). The lab, a project of MedStar’s Institute for Innovation, seeks to advance health care through simulated environments where clinicians and other health care professionals train for real hospital settings.

The perfect training space for EVS employees came from a 2017 collaboration between Crothall and MedStar to make SiTEL home to a simulation of patient rooms and other spaces that would require HPC. These simulations come complete with interactive video equipment, bringing prerecorded lessons to multiple audiences and recording practical skills for playback during review.

“Crothall not only shared the vision, but they really put their money where their mouth was,” said Shapert. “Crothall made a $250,000 investment in the renovation designed to provide a physical space for their ambitious program.”

By the Numbers

$250,000 Capital Investment by Crothall in SiTEL

92% Average Positive or Highly Positive Associate Reviews

850+ Crothall-Managed Employees Trained by SiTEL

“The training buttressed the importance of humility and patience, listening to patients without interrupting and doing what we can to make their stay better.” –Crothall EVS Employee feedback on SiTEL

Just Like the Real Thing

Crothall’s service models jump from theory to practice. The low-risk environment in SiTEL helps introduce new associates to their work and continuing associates to updates in their fields. In addition, the collaborative environment during review helps focus importance on improvement and frankness to increase associates’ chances of success in their specialized roles.

Vital HPC skills shine in Crothall’s EVS simulator at MedStar. The chance to practice and review High Profile Cleaning skills generated higher confidence in all 10 key areas. Crothall’s EVS communication tools, such as the ability to address patients’ concern during difficult times, see the highest average improvement in the associate’s own eyes.

“HPC works great with practice because it’s very practical,” said Gill. “The results help supervisors figure out where someone already shines and what they will need to work on to get associates where they need to be.”

A Growing Concern

Teaching by model thrives in a practical teaching facility. Crothall and MedStar co-developed three curricula — A Culture of Cleanliness, A Culture of Connection and Elevating Purpose — to reflect the uniqueness of HPC at SiTEL. Each curriculum relates the importance of a service model within Crothall’s EVS standards.

Employees respond near-unanimously well to the SiTEL experience. EVS associates recorded positive feedback at a rate higher than 92% in all categories, including ability to apply knowledge and team communication, during a review survey after SiTEL lessons. “I learned a lot on how to listen to the patient and give the services they require,” according to one Crothall associate at MedStar.

“This has us thinking about all the other applications as well,” said Shapert. “The EVS team laid the groundwork for growth at MedStar in facilities management and ambulatory services.”

To learn what Crothall can do for your organization, call 1-877-4CROTHALL (1-877-427-6842).