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HRRMC's Environmental Services Employees Earn Certification

Fifteen environmental services (EVS) employees at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center recently became Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technicians (CHEST). The CHEST program sets national standards specifically for EVS technicians working in healthcare.Seated (L to R): Robert Weisbrod, Matthew Graham, Pat Jenkins, Lori Kramer, Lisa Ashley. Standing (L to R): Dorothy Archuleta, Ashley Willhite, Ron Bobo, Mark Risinger, Facilities Manager Dan Christianson, Team Leader John Dickson, Michelle Leach and Teddie Sterle.

The Association for Healthcare Environment recently launched this new certification program, which is backed by the American Hospital Association. The CHEST program was established using focus groups and comprehensive nationwide job analysis of a healthcare EVS technician's responsibilities. It covers all aspects of a frontline worker's typical tasks and accountabilities.

CHEST training workshops are comprised of 24 hours of required classroom instruction. Environmental services technicians must then pass a written exam to earn the CHEST designation.

"I believe we are one of the first hospitals in the nation to make this certification mandatory for all team members," said EVS Team Leader John Dickson. "This is a great program and everyone has learned a lot more about disinfection, waste handling, floor care, linen handling, infection prevention, safety and communication in the healthcare environment. I am very proud of all our EVS team members for taking the CHEST course and passing the test. They put a lot of time an effort into this."

Through proper care and maintenance of the healthcare environment, EVS technicians play an essential role in patients' experience of care, as well as ensuring patient safety and satisfaction. This program has the potential to make a positive impact on infection rates, costs, quality of care, patient experience and outcomes.