MTMC’s 95th percentile ranking means only five percent of hospitals across the nation rank higher in cleanliness.
That’s not surprising when you consider that collectively, the Environmental Services Department staff of 13 has over 79 years of combined experience in caring for the 75,000 square foot hospital facility.
Environmental Services Manager Dave Kennard proudly explains MTMC earned an 88 percent ranking – 14 points higher than the 74 percent average for California hospitals – by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), a standardized survey of hospital patients that captures their unique perspectives on hospital care for the purpose of providing the public with comparable information on hospital quality.
Kennard attributes the high ranking to his staff’s personal interaction with patients. “We talk to the patients,” he explains. “Our folks are in and out of their rooms several times every day. We greet them personally and explain what we are going to do.”
“After spending ten or 15 minutes cleaning up the room we ask if there is anything else we can do for them before leaving. That’s the routine; and then I drop by to follow up with patients, to be sure they are happy with housekeeping services.”
He continues, “Our staff takes great pride in what they do and are very dedicated -- it’s important to note we have zero percent turnover in our department. We are a team. Our Environmental Services folks work alongside the medical and administrative staff to provide the best possible patient experience.”
“Everyone goes above and beyond what is expected. Like recently when a homeless man was admitted to the hospital and our staff made sure he had clean clothes to wear when he was released. There is just an instinct around here to help people.”
Environmental Services staff process around 13,000 pounds of trash each month, but the department has many other responsibilities besides cleaning. There are eight full-time employees assigned each day to hospital departments and providing specialized services required for surgical suites, pharmacy, recycling and bio hazard removal. Part-time and on-call workers round out the team. Consistent training keeps staff members up-to-date on the latest requirements in areas like tech and pharmacy maintenance.
Kennard came to MTMC a year ago from Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, a 700-bed hospital where his Environmental Services staff totaled 146 employees. His earlier work with service contractors took him across the country from other huge facilities like Mt. Sinai in Chicago to smaller hospitals from Shreveport to Portland.
“I’ve been in the hospital industry for over 20 years and traveled a lot,” he notes, “I was looking for a place to call home when I saw this job opportunity.” Dave and his wife Kathy visited and loved the small town, community atmosphere of the Mother Lode Region. They now live in Sonora. The couple has two adult children and three grandchildren.
“The community atmosphere at MTMC really appeals to me,” he explains. “I am always running into people who tell me they were born at our hospital and are now bringing their kids here.”
About Mark Twain Medical Center
Founded in 1951, Mark Twain Medical Center is a 25-bed, critical access hospital providing inpatient acute care, outpatient services and emergency services. The Medical Center’s Medical Staff represents a broad range of specialties that ensure access to high quality medical care in a rural community. In addition to being a major provider of health services, Mark Twain Medical Center is also one of the area’s largest employers. More than 300 people are employed at the hospital and its five Family Medical Centers. The Medical Center is a member of Dignity Health, the fifth largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the nation. Mark Twain Medical Center is also on Facebook.