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Clarification of TV news report regarding perioperative cleaning processes

A recent TV news report about the room cleaning process in Vanderbilt University Hospital’s Perioperative Services has drawn negative comments on social media platforms from viewers as a result of inaccurate reporting within the story.

The TV news story took information out of context and incorrectly portrayed facts about how operating rooms, holding rooms and recovery rooms in one area of Vanderbilt University Hospital are maintained.

Nurses at Vanderbilt University Medical Center do not clean restrooms. There are no cost-reduction measures or changes to nurse staffing responsibilities being implemented by VUMC that would jeopardize the quality and safety of the care we provide our patients.

The news report presents the impression that Environmental Services staff was eliminated from the hospital’s Perioperative areas. This is not accurate. To the contrary, staff of Environmental Services are integral members of our clinical enterprise. As such, we are adding 18 new Environmental Services positions during fiscal year 2014.

Environmental Services and other key staff will continue to be present throughout the Perioperative areas and the entire Medical Center.

The process change referenced in the news report incorrectly describes an extension of room turnover responsibilities for clinical technicians in hospital operating rooms, holding rooms and recovery rooms.

As always, our commitment is that cleaning of clinical areas be done in accordance with all regulations and fully comply with the highest safety standards.

VUMC strives for all clinical staff to work at the top of their license.  The team-based approach necessary to best serve our patients requires Medical Center employees to contribute with efficiency and collegiality where necessary. This continues to be a key component of our success.

The safety and quality of the care we deliver our patients will continue to be our first priority.