Healthcare systems are fast-paced, complex networks with hundreds of internal stakeholders all focused on providing top-notch patient care. However, implementing initiatives that are outside the patient care focus—but are transformative to the organization—can prove to be difficult. One large healthcare system saw the importance of resource optimization and were determined to improve their waste management on a site by site level.
Company leaders knew two things would be key to their success: data and employee engagement. First, they needed visibility into the data of how their current waste disposal systems and processes operated to pinpoint opportunities for improvement. They also knew that intentional stakeholder engagement from department managers would be critical to the adoption of new procedures that were sure to roll out as the process progressed. So, the healthcare system partnered with ENGIE Impact to craft and implement a strategy and roadmap to improve waste management practices across their portfolio of hospitals, medical office building and administrative offices.
ENGIE Impact worked with the healthcare system’s regional management to ensure all sites were aware of the high-priority waste management initiative. In order to engage all staff, each site went through a rigorous plan to guarantee program adoption.
With over 100 sites, it became apparent that each site had its own culture, workflow, cadence, and floorplan. By conducting a 2-week, on-site engagement with the site’s staff, ENGIE Impact better understood how to address regional goals while accommodating local needs.
To identify opportunities for process improvement, ENGIE Impact conducted several thorough walkthroughs, shadowed the environmental services (EVS) team and audited trash bins on each floor. These activities provided data that enabled ENGIE Impact to locate and remove redundant trash bins, optimize EVS workflow and highlight which departments had the greatest opportunities for improvement. The data that was collected formed a baseline, which became the foundation for growth and maintenance of the program.
Even armed with the data, encouraging staff to make slight adjustments in their workflow can be a challenge. But by creating open dialogue and acknowledging staff needs, ENGIE Impact was able to garner excitement and momentum across the sites. Building off this momentum, employees were emboldened to become waste advocates and helped ENGIE Impact create central waste stations which streamlined the waste management system, reduced the amount of plastic liners and, as an added benefit, improved mobility. Eager to solidify this program, the site’s staff participated in interactive trainings that provided insights and solutions around waste and how to maintain the program.
By concentrating on trainings and open communication, ENGIE Impact created an integrated and tailored approach that influenced the staff to be more accountable for owning and expanding the program at their site. Within a 12-month period, ENGIE Impact enabled these transformations:
Engaging stakeholders is no easy task, but it creates lasting value that can go deeper and broader into an organization. The healthcare system’s regional management saw the success of the program and plan a rapid expansion throughout additional sites in the future.