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Top 10 Tips for Collaboration between Environmental Services and Infection Prevention Professionals

In today’s evolving healthcare climate, collaboration among different disciplines is critical to ensure costs are minimized while patients experience the best care possible. Here are 10 tips for improving collaboration between infection prevention and environmental services professionals.

  1. Invite infection prevention to environmental services staff and committee meetings and vice versa. Use this forum to improve understanding and knowledge of initiatives.
     
  2. During meetings, infection prevention should share statistics including infection rates, hand hygiene data, current clinical alerts (i.e., Influenza, Ebola Virus Disease, etc.), and articles for discussion. Environmental Services should share data supporting current Environment of Care compliance.
     
  3. Allot time for Q&A at the end of each meeting, which is a great forum for addressing frontline concerns or questions related to infection prevention and control practices.
     
  4. Encourage frontline staff members to share all material from meetings with their units/departments.
     
  5. Standardize products for both clinical staff and environmental services to use. Select a product that is easy to recognize and use.
     
  6. Train staff on product utilization and compatibility.
     
  7. Strategically post educational signage near the product to reinforce appropriate use.
     
  8. Attach brackets to mobile computers, multi-patient use equipment (e.g., vital signs machines), and on walls outside every patient room to provide easy access for cleaning and disinfection.
     
  9. All compliance tools should clearly indicate the contact time.
     
  10. Never stop exploring new avenues for collaboration!