Atlanta VA Health Care System
Environmental Management Service keeps things clean
Who do you call when a spill occurs or when you are low on paper towels? And who is responsible for the cleanliness, interior upkeep and maintenance of the entire Atlanta VA Medical Center? Each of these tasks are professionally performed by Environmental Management Service Line (EMS).
EMS supervisor, Lyndon Habersham said, "Not only are our 103 employees accountable for sanitation and infection control of this facility, we are also present during medical emergencies to clear hallways and ensure a safe environment for patients, their relatives and our staff. In the event of bad weather which may necessitate an evacuation, our staff stands ready to assist with moving patients to areas of safety."
Special events take place throughout the year at the medical center and EMS employees play an instrumental role in the success of these uplifting and enjoyable events. "I just can’t say enough good things about the EMS staff, said one recent customer, "They are very friendly and do a great job of setting up the place for your event and then putting everything back in its proper place."
Customer Service is always on the mind of Robert Lilly, veteran and employee for more than 29 years. "We are very visible and because of our visibility we know how important it is to greet visitors. In our monthly meetings we stress being courteous, to knock and announce yourself before entering a room and to ask if anything else is needed before leaving the room," said Lilly.
He also understands the value of sharing his years of experience with new employees. "Knowledge should be made available to anybody who might need it,"Lilly said. "Anytime you set up barriers, you’re really shooting yourself in the foot." He noted that knowledge and information are critical assets for organizations and should be valued like personnel and financial assets,
Opal McDuffie and Olin Gray are also veterans and have been VAMC employees for eight and 18 years respectively. Both agree on customer service being the gold standard of their department and are pleased with a recent change in cleaning products. The microfiber system is a kit which contains a mop, dust mop, and three cleaning cloths (1 for cleaning glass and two for disinfecting).
"A kit is used for each room to clean everything from floor to ceiling. Once cleaning is finished the kit is removed with soiled linen. We are happy with the system because it prevents cross contamination," added McDuffie.
On a monthly basis a ‘Clean Team Award’ is issued to the employees who have the best kept area. Each member of the chosen team is given a certificate and a spot cash award. All employees receive annual training on infection control, discharge cleaning, handling chemicals and hospital wide inspections to include The Joint Commission, Inspector General, and Infection Control and Safety.
A dedicated team committed to excellence in customer satisfaction, EMS is involved in the maintenance and update of several first floor women’s rest rooms. They are now identified as ‘Family’ rest rooms. Changing tables for babies have been installed to make this endeavor easier for parents and their babies. Environmental Management Service works around the clock, seven days a week. The office is located on the ground floor of the main hospital building and the staff can be reached at extension 6105.