March 16, 2007

Cleanliness initiative bringing brighter shine to TVC, MCE

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Xiomara Maldonado tidies up an exam room in Medical Center East. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Cleanliness initiative bringing brighter shine to TVC, MCE

Compared to a year ago, The Vanderbilt Clinic and Medical Center East are scoring considerably higher on weekly housecleaning inspections.

The improved scores are associated with a June 2006 switch to a new housekeeping vendor for the two facilities.

Since then, housekeeping complaints have decreased.

Racy Peters, director of access management for Vanderbilt Medical Group, said housekeeping had slumped after the 2005 opening of MCE. Improvement required finding a new vendor, along with continued close monitoring. Each week, Peters does an hour-long inspection, taking in a handful of randomly selected locations around TVC and MCE.

“The whole place should be cleaned every night. Therefore, anywhere I look should be clean,” Peters said.

She uses a 50-item inspection and pass-fail grading; a year ago, scores had dropped to around 60 percent passing, with wide variability, and today scores are averaging 80 percent passing, with less variability.

VMG has set a goal of 90 percent passing on the weekly inspections.

“We're pleased with the direction that our housekeeping performance has taken, and in the spirit of elevate we're constantly striving to meet our goal,” Peters said.

Last year, Peters conducted secret-shopper inspections of facilities served by the vendors that were contending for the TVC-MCE contract. VMG settled on Service Management Systems (SMS), a Nashville-based company that also cleans Nashville's airport.

Report TVC/MCE housecleaning issues to SMS at 343-9350. For more information, contact Racy Peters at