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CRMC hosts statewide training session

Clark Regional Medical Center hosted a statewide T-CHEST (Certified Healthcare Environmental Services Technician) certification training Thursday.

About 30 hospitals from across the state are represented. All 34 participants were trained as CHEST facility trainers and can now return to their respective hospitals to train their frontline workers.

The program covers all aspects of a frontline worker’s typical tasks and accountabilities, according to the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE) website.

Mike Bailey, AHE’s CHEST master trainer, said those certified with T-CHEST must train their facilities environmental services technicians and deliver the written assessment. Environmental services technicians must pass a written exam to earn the CHEST designation.

Bailey said AHE has trained in specific facilities, but Kentucky is the first state to participate in a statewide T-CHEST certification program.

He said he hopes to use Kentucky as a model for other states.

The three-year-old program has the potential to make a positive impact on infection rates, costs, quality of care, patient experience and outcomes, Bailey said.

The certification is vital to patient safety, efficiency and satisfaction, Teresa Daniels, East Central Kentucky Market Director of Infection Prevention, said.

“This gives our technicians the knowledge to perform their duties in an educational way,” she said.

Daniels said environmental service technicians are not housekeepers; they are specially trained and certified and are a critical part of the hospital’s mission of patient safety and satisfaction.

Deborah Campbell, Kentucky Hospital Association infection prevention improvement advisor, said the Kentucky Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (KHIIN) helped fund the certification training. She said Daniels had this idea and KHIIN saw the necessity of the program.

Vicki Breeding, CRMC director of Environmental Services, said the various employees at hospitals across the state learned a lot from each other, and it was an important state collaboration that emphasized how patient safety should be a priority.

“This was just an amazing opportunity for growth,” she said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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