Environmental Services Evolves in COVID-19 Era

Role of EVS technicians has been highlighted and recognized more than ever before

February 1, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to test the stamina and resourcefulness of front-line healthcare workers, the situation is no better behind the scenes in healthcare facilities. Facilities teams, including environmental services (EVS) workers, also face daily challenges related to protecting their own health while they keep facilities clean and sanitary.

While the pandemic has presented many challenges for EVS departments, the role of EVS technicians has been highlighted and recognized more than ever before, demonstrating their front-line responsibilities for infection prevention and the important place they have on the patient care team, according to Health Facilities Management

For example, EVS technicians performed their life-saving work on the front lines at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Nyack, N.Y., under extreme circumstances, demonstrating resilience, agility and professionalism.

As the EVS department transitions to post-pandemic health care, there are a range of challenges in transitioning to a new way of service delivery for EVS. For instance, attracting and recruiting staff for healthcare environments as emerging pathogens develop, and repairing the damaged spirit of existing healthcare staff for retention might continue to be difficult. The hospital’s EVS department was overwhelmed and outmatched for the rapid ascension of the wave that hit. The EVS staff observed absolute horror surrounded by grief, sadness and a helplessness that is indescribable. Many are dealing with personal loss and loss of co-workers to this disease.

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