We helped healthcare organizations showfrontline staff the 'why'

The project story


When you or a family member visit a hospital, the quality of the physicians and nurses providing care is top-of-mind. But you may not realize that the environmental services (EVS) technicians who clean, disinfect, and maintain a sanitary environment are also critical to health and healing. In fact, most patients staying in a hospital will spend more time interacting with the EVS staff than any other role.

The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) is on a mission to make these key staff members feel empowered, valued, and appreciated. We partnered with AHE to design a certification program that would elevate the profession, create confidence in frontline EVS staff, improve patient satisfaction, and help hospitals lower infection rates.

Association for the Healthcare Environment

The Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) is a professional membership group of the American Hospital Association. AHE represents, defines, and advances over 2,100 environmental services (EVS) professionals who are responsible for caring for the patient and resident care environment (environmental services) across all care settings; including hospitals, long-term care, continuing care retirement communities and ambulatory care.

Help AHE create a scalable, sustainable certification program that elevates the EVS profession and helps hospitals who participate improve patient satisfaction and lower infection rates.

We conducted up-front analysis to better understand the EVS technician role. Then we partnered with AHE to design a certification program that meets the needs of Environmental Services departments across a wide range of healthcare settings.

The end result, CHEST, is a 3-day certification program built on an innovative Train-the-Trainer model (TTT): healthcare organizations select a representative from their staff to attend training through a publicly offered AHE CHEST TTT program. Upon completion of the program, the representative becomes a Designated CHEST Trainer (T-CHEST) who can train hospital EVS staff on-demand. This model allows hospitals to train their entire EVS technician staff at a low cost.

As of August 2018:

  • Trained and certified more than 2,500 healthcare environmental services technicians at nearly 500 healthcare facilities nationwide
  • 700 trainers have become designated T-CHEST
  • Train-the-Trainer certification session has received a cumulative satisfaction score of 99% from participants
  • Lowered infection rates; big improvements in patient satisfaction
  • Gold for "Best Results of a Learning Program" in the 2018 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards
  • Gold for "Best Certification Program" in the 2018 Brandon Hall Excellence Awards

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