Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Environmental Services Team Gearing Up for Flu and Cold Season

Garrett Regional Medical Center’s Environmental Services Team Gearing Up for Flu and Cold Season

Pictured are Garrett Regional Medical Center’s environmental services team members. Kneeling left to right: Joey Lim, Kathi Greaser, Amanda Nice. Back row: Robin Friend, Susan Polling, Brenda Gank, Sandi Lewis, Reva Waybright, Anthony Goff, Paul Hoff.

With the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) anticipating increased numbers of influenza this year across the country, Garrett Regional Medical Center’s environmental services department is gearing up for the upcoming flu and cold season.

“We make sure each area of the hospital – from the basement to the third floor – is clean and sanitized for our patients, visitors, and staff,” remarked Robin Friend, GRMC’s director of environmental services (EVS) and laundry. “There is not a part of the hospital that we do not clean and sanitize.”

With all the challenges and changes the last few years have brought, GRMC’s EVS department has remained resilient in its efforts to protect others from common colds and viruses.

At the beginning of each shift, environmental services staff always start with the needs of the patients.

“Our patients always come first,” Friend stated. “Discharges, daily room cleaning, washdowns, sharps, shreds, trash, and much more usually follow. Carol Spiker is our main laundry person, and she always makes sure there are clean linens for everyone and throughout hospital departments.”

When it comes to preventing germs and preventative measures, handwashing remains the most effective.

“We constantly wash our hands, and there are hand sanitizing stations throughout the hospital,” added Friend. “Additionally, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is always worn in any isolation room. GRMC’s EVS team is the team behind the clean!”

As a Top 20 Rural and Community Hospital nationally recognized by the National Rural Health Association, GRMC had no inpatient central line-associated bloodstream infections in 2021, marking eight years since a patient experienced such an infection in the facility.

The hospital also ended the past year with no inpatient catheter-associated urinary tract infections, the fifth consecutive year without this type of infection. GRMC has the lowest Case Mix Adjustment Readmission Rate in the state of Maryland at 5.45% currently for 2022 and the lowest Hospital Acquired Condition score in the state.

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