Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Cleans Up with OhmniClean

CMCH adopted the UV-C disinfection robot to assist with their EVS services.

By HFT Staff

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the role of environmental services (EVS) is pivotal in ensuring patient safety, satisfaction, and cost-effectiveness. At Cameron Memorial Community Hospital (CMCH), a small, critical access facility in the heart of rural America, the EVS team, led by Darren Goff, has embraced innovation and strategic thinking to elevate patient care and drive operational excellence. 

CMCH, with its 25-bed capacity, faces unique challenges in delivering quality healthcare services. In a community surrounded by lakes, Cameron experiences high volumes throughout the four seasons and strives to always have a bed available, if a patient should need one. With this high volume comes, at times, quick turnaround within its inpatient rooms. Even while facing some of these challenges, Darren and his team have adopted a proactive approach, implementing innovative solutions to enhance the patient experience while maintaining fiscal responsibility. 

Embracing Technology to Improve Efficiency and Cost Savings 

One of CMCH's most significant investments has been the adoption of the OhmniClean UV-C disinfection robot, an autonomous technology designed to provide thorough disinfection of patient rooms, operating rooms and common areas. Darren's team has seamlessly integrated this technology into their daily operations, with all 25 EVS staff members trained in its use. 

The OhmniClean robot's advanced self-driving capabilities and user-friendly interface have made utilizing UV technology for disinfection fast, safe and simple for the EVS team. Data is collected on the number of successful runs each month, ensuring consistent utilization and identifying areas for improvement through targeted re-education efforts. 

To ensure they are taking full advantage of the UV technology, CMCH set a goal to complete at least 60 runs per month. These runs include ORs, isolation rooms, and a rotation of general rooms, common areas, breakrooms, and bathrooms. They also track the quality of these runs. 

The impact of OhmniClean's implementation is evidenced by CMCH's impressive patient experience scores, which have surpassed their 2021 benchmarks. The EVS department's commitment to cleanliness and patient satisfaction has earned them recognition as a top 

performer, with a 99th percentile rating based on patient surveys evaluating room cleanliness and environmental factors. 

In 2023, CMCH was one of only two hospitals in Indiana to achieve a 5-star rating for both quality metrics and patient satisfaction. They attribute that achievement in part to the high level of disinfection they are able to achieve using OhmniClean. 

Streamlining Operations for Cost Savings 

Waste Management was another issue CMCH addressed by optimizing its waste pickup schedule. By transitioning from twice-weekly pickups to a single weekly collection, the hospital effectively curbed the anticipated cost increase from 10 to 15 percent down to a mere three percent over the past year. This simple yet effective adjustment yielded immediate savings for the facility. 

Consolidating cleaning products was another area of focus for the EVS leadership team. Through a meticulous inventory assessment conducted in coordination with the Infection Prevention department, the number of chemicals used for daily cleaning tasks was streamlined from 15 down to just four. Implemented in October 2022, this initiative has already generated savings of $3,000, and projections indicate an annual cost reduction of $12,000 to $14,000 for the organization. 

Handling biohazardous waste is a persistent challenge for hospitals, with many facilities grappling with cost increases ranging from 15 percent to 20 percent. As a non-profit institution, CMCH recognized the imperative of identifying cost-saving opportunities, particularly in this critical area. While for-profit hospitals may hesitate to invest in advanced technologies, CMCH embraced innovation, recognizing the long-term benefits it could provide. Proper segregation and appropriate disposal methods, such as incineration for certain waste streams, were essential to managing costs effectively. 

Pharmaceutical waste management emerged as another area for improvement. In 2021, CMCH's total waste generation qualified the facility as a large quantity generator. However, through a collaborative effort between the EVS leadership, laboratory, and pharmacy departments, a new classification and identification system was implemented. Clear signage and color-coding on waste receptacles empowered front-line staff to easily distinguish regular medical waste from pharmaceutical waste. This initiative successfully transitioned CMCH back to a small quantity generator status in 2022, resulting in a remarkable 60 percent reduction in regulated pharmaceutical waste – from 1,081 pounds in 2021 to 656 pounds in 2022. This achievement translated into substantial savings, as CMCH avoided a $1,500 fee associated with being classified as a large quantity generator. 

Laundry services presented another opportunity for cost optimization. Historically, CMCH handled a significant portion of its cleaning and disinfection in-house, a process subject to stringent regulations regarding water temperature, clean lines, and other factors. Now, the hospital has partnered with a vendor who purchases linens (approximately $50,000 annually) and provides the necessary machines to CMCH. This arrangement relieves the hospital of the burden of preventative maintenance responsibilities, resulting in substantial savings of approximately $35,000 per year. 

Commitment to Quality and Continuous Improvement 

Darren's team closely monitors the cleaning and disinfection process through a comprehensive quality measurement program. Patient experience scores, leadership rounds, ATP testing, and UV disinfection run data are meticulously tracked and analyzed, ensuring a commitment to continuous improvement. 

This patient-centric approach is evident in Darren's weekly rounds with the patient experience coordinator, where feedback is gathered and implemented to enhance the patient journey 

Looking Ahead: Embracing Innovation and Collaboration 

As CMCH continues to navigate the challenges of rural healthcare, the EVS team remains steadfast in its pursuit of excellence. Darren's vision is to maintain a balanced approach, fostering positive team interactions while prioritizing a clean and professional environment for patients. 

Through collaboration with industry partners like OhmniLabs, the manufacturer of the OhmniClean robot, CMCH stays ahead of the curve, embracing innovative solutions that enhance patient care and drive operational efficiencies. 

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the EVS team at Cameron Memorial Community Hospital stands as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that even in resource-constrained settings, a commitment to innovation, cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction can pave the way for exceptional healthcare delivery. 

May 8, 2024

Topic Area: Environmental Services , Infection Control

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