Case Study: Environmental Hygiene Raises HCAHPS Scores, Lowers Infection Rates

Implementing an environmental cleaning program can help lower infection rates and raise HCAHPS cleanliness scores, according to a case study recently released by Aurora, Ill.-based Rush-Copely Hospital.

Rush-Copley began a new environmental cleaning program in 2010, identifying 24 high-touch areas for regular cleaning and providing informational scripts for environmental service employees to deliver to patients about how cleaning services were reducing infection risks.

Rush-Copley also became involved in the State of Illinois' Campaign to Eliminate Clostridium difficile program in 2012, a program consisting mostly of modifying environmental cleaning protocols.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, Rush-Copley reported a 50% decrease in rates of C. diff compared to its historical rates. The hospital also reported a steady increase in HCAHPS cleanliness scores after implementing patient-centric scripts, starting in the 62 percentile in 2010, moving to the 69 percentile in 2011 and ending at the 73 percentile in 2012. 

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