Protecting the Patient Experience
With more than 1.5 million square feet of hospital space, nearly 4,000 employees and 900 board-certified physicians in Atlanta, Piedmont Hospital provides nationally recognized care for all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services. The private, not-for-profit hospital is a recipient of the 2006 and 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety according to HealthGrades (a leading healthcare ratings company).
Knowing Piedmont’s excellent reputation, it comes as no surprise that the hospital is especially vigilant about pest management. An Orkin Gold Medal Protection customer since 2004, Piedmont selected Orkin because the hospital needed 24-hour, on-call services and a guaranteed four-hour response time to any pest problems at the facility.
The relationship between Piedmont and Orkin first began when hospital staff noticed ants in two intensive care unit (ICU) wings. Though the Argentine ants posed no immediate health concern to patients, Piedmont’s environmental services staff understood the importance of maintaining a pest-free environment at all times and immediately called Orkin.
After careful examination of the ICU wings, Orkin identified how the pests were entering – through weep holes, a common structural requirement in the walls of brick buildings. To take care of the problem and have little impact on patients as possible, Piedmont temporarily relocated patients during a weekend of low activity while Orkin professionals and the hospital engineering department applied the necessary treatment and screened off potential entry points.
“Even though we saw only a few ants, that is not acceptable at Piedmont Hospital,” said Piedmont’s director of environmental services Brian Frislie. “Orkin responded right away, and we were able to resolve the issue quickly.”
The plan successfully removed the ants, but the real testament to the Gold Medal program’s effectiveness came later. During Piedmont’s five-year inspection by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), pests and pest control were not even mentioned – the best-case scenario for a hospital pest control program.
“Orkin worked closely with the environmental services staff to make sure everything was in perfect working order leading up to the inspection,” said Frislie.
Because hospital employees are the eyes and ears of the pest control program between service visits, Piedmont entrusts their Orkin pest control specialist to train hospital staff members on other potential problem areas. At one monthly staff meeting, Orkin specialist Gary Lewis delivered a presentation on fly prevention to the environmental services staff and several infectious disease doctors. Plans are already underway to develop future staff training sessions.
“Officially, I am an employee of Orkin, but unofficially, I feel like an employee of Piedmont Hospital,” said Lewis about Orkin’s relationship with Piedmont. “I couldn’t ask for a better or more receptive customer.”
Orkin’s Gold Medal Protection for Health Care boasts a comprehensive documentation system that prepares hospitals for reviews by facility administration, public health inspectors, medical personnel and health care accreditation boards. A “greener” pest management alternative for health care facilities, Orkin’s Gold Medal Protect for Healthcare is consistent with recommendations made by the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) and Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (H2E).