EVS Consulting Services Key to Our Software’s Success
Our Marketing Director, Jodie Mowrey, sat down for an interview with Christopher Lucier, National Sales Director, to discuss Smart Facility Software’s client services.
Cleanable Site Inventory & Database Building
Jodie: Tell us about our implementation and EVS consulting services and that go along with our Environmental Services software.
Chris: Typically, when somebody contracts with us, we’ll come on site. First, we walk the hospital and create a room and cleanable space inventory based on the specific campus details of buildings, floors, subsections, and rooms. The inventory of rooms consists of measurements of square footage, identifying floor type, and the specific use of that room, which would be the room type.
Whether it’s a nurses’ station, a patient room, a med room, or corridors, all of those spaces create a database of the metrics for cleaning that specific campus. So, unlike a benchmark, we’re looking at your unique campus information.
Jodie: How do you use that information?
Chris: The next piece would be to identify the staffing needs for cleaning that facility. We do that in two ways: we do it with the cleaning times associated with the room inventory that we’ve built, and we account for time needed for other EVS duties: such as pulling trash out of the building or bio waste transportation, could be changing curtains and those sorts of things. It also includes management time, non-productive time (likes breaks and vacations), and lock-in positions in the ER, OR and Labor and Delivery.
So, we compile these two sets of information in the database and we then run a report that will tell us what the staffing needs are for the department.
We also look at things like performance or appearance level. When we build the staffing analysis, our first run would be a standard level of cleaning, which is kind of that middle of the road. It’s not a premium service and it’s not an economy service. From that, we look at things like budget and balance that with the service level the hospital is trying to create and run a to-budget analysis. This means, we consider: what changes do we need to make to the levels of services and staff allocation within the database in order to achieve the budget for that department? Sometimes that budget is above economy or closer to standard, and sometimes it’s below. We’ll make adjustments to things such as the frequency with which we clean offices or the frequency with which we clean corridors. Or, maybe the time it takes for us to clean patient rooms is adjusted. So, all of those factors come into play when we try to meet the budget.
“We’re trying to not overburden somebody with too large of an area or too high a frequency of service level.” — Christopher Lucier
Work Assignment Optimization
Jodie: How do work assignments fit in?
Chris: Once we’ve got that information (the room inventory and staffing analysis), and we agree on what our target is, the next piece is building work assignments in the software. We build work assignments aligned for both daily cleaning and periodic (project) work, and budget goals. We build balanced assignments and know each employee is assigned level of work that they are capable of achieving. We’re trying to not overburden somebody with too large of an area or too high a frequency of service level. The clean times associated with tasks and rooms allow us to prevent that from happening.
The end result is a clear set of work assignments you can easily assign to staff and build schedules.
Service Optimizer Implementation and Adoption
Jodie: Let’s talk about Service Optimizer implementation.
Chris: Service Optimizer is a software takes the work assignments typically distributed to staff on paper and sends them electronically to their mobile devices instead. Service Optimizer is a complete communication platform for the Environmental Services department. It allows for two-way communication of everything including daily work assignments, project work, messaging back and forth, and adding tasks. So, our implementation of Service Optimizer brings those training components to the forefront.
We provide a one-day session where we would work with the supervisory team and show them what Service Optimizer does and adjust the program settings to meet their needs. And then we’ll spend about a week on site working with the frontline staff members on how to use the software and ensure adoption. We walk the floors and help techs understand how to log rooms as clean, how to log tasks completed, and how to see when they receive tasks, and how to monitor those during the day.
Our goal is not necessarily to carry somebody from start to finish, but basically to give them the tools to be able to manage it themselves once we’ve left the building.
Jodie: What does software training consist of?
Chris: Our software training is typically a two-day program. We run through all of the different modules within ES Optimizer and teach them about navigating through the software, understanding how the database was built, how we added buildings and floors and subsections, and how we added rooms. We also show them how to make changes to the room data so they can manage it in the future.
And then the next piece we dive into is how to build work assignments and manipulate them. The work assignments are already built out by us, but as things change such as staffing, or the volume of patients in the building, they will be able to make changes to work assignments as they need to. We also train them on how to create short staff assignments for when the need arises.
“We have a really strong tech support department providing help for everything from a password reset to pulling specific reports to providing online training.” — Christopher Lucier
As part of that on site training, we’ll go from the personnel module into the QA piece, helping them understand how to do inspections and how to pull reports from that information. And then we also show them the customizable training module and how to upload their own training into it.
We’ll briefly touch on the preferences tab, which is where all the main settings are within the program. Because ES Optimizer is such a customizable tool, I want them to understand how to do it.
Jodie: Let’s talk about the tech support. Once the software is set up and implementation is done, Smart Facility consultants are gone from the facility. But, talk about what ongoing support Smart Facility provides.
Chris: We have a really strong tech support department providing help for everything from a password reset to pulling specific reports to providing online training.
“That really came to light at the beginning of COVID when we started to have hospitals that needed to add specific or custom procedure codes for handling COVID issues or COVID cleaning requirements.” — Christopher Lucier
Dan Jones, head of our Tech Support department, will usually answer the phone or return a call soon thereafter. An email is usually a great way to log a request. I push people towards email because, once somebody sends an email to our tech support line, it hits no less than 10 people within our company. From the president, to all of our consultants, to our tech support line. So, everybody’s going to see that note.
I’ve seen our CTO/CIO Mark Clabaugh reset a password for somebody at one o’clock in the morning, which is not, I think, typical in a company our size.
Jodie: My understanding is that you and all of our consultants continue working closely with a lot of your clients on EVS operations questions and challenges as long as they have the software.
Chris: Yes, we have relationships with our customers where we understand not just their buildings, but their needs and their personalities. We really want people to look to us, not just from the tech support side, but, as a partner.
Our consultants are Environmental Services professionals who have industry experience, and can relate what they’ve seen across the industry. Once somebody in our company has built the relationship, the end user is often very comfortable with calling them up and saying, “Hey, can you tell me, how would you handle this staffing situation or overcome this challenge?”
That really came to light at the beginning of COVID when we started to have hospitals that needed to add specific or custom procedure codes for handling COVID issues or COVID cleaning requirements. And we have one client in particular that we created a new cleaning code for. We built the new code into a staffing analysis to understand the impact of adding those new cleaning processes to their staffing level. And that’s just a tip of the iceberg as to what our consulting team does to support both our frontline customers and our tech support line.
“Our EVS directors are typically in back-to-back meetings and don’t have time for a single call. So, when they take their time to call us, we know they see the value in using us as part of a support system for their challenges.” — Christopher Lucier
Jodie: So would you say the team has strong relationships with their clients?
Chris: I would. The other day I was actually on a job with Johnson Bridges, who is one of our data specialists. A customer called him up. And we were in the middle of a conversation. He’s like, “Hold on. I need to take this, it’s a customer I worked with last month.” And it was interesting to listen in because the conversation was, “Hey, I’m just getting back to you. I had needed something, but I resolved it myself, but I just wanted to touch base with you.” The conversation was more personal than it was business.
It was initiated over a business need, but then it became, how are you, how are things in the area? What’s going on with your family?
Obviously, Johnson had spent some time on campus with this customer. It became more of a friendship and a partnership than just a vendor relationship. It was really nice to see that.
Our EVS directors are typically in back-to-back meetings and don’t have time for a single call. So, when they take their time to call us, we know they see the value in using us as part of a support system for their challenges.