Over the years, the environmental services (EVS) department at Geisinger, Danville, Pa., has added technologies to enhance communications among its departmental service teams.

Initially, it utilized pagers, which provided limited information, no knowledge of the sender and the need to find another means to communicate back, if possible. Moving to a two-way radio technology solved some of these issues. However, it created new issues such as increased noise within the facilities and private conversations heard publicly.

The EVS department’s discharge cleaning staff utilized an electronic device to accept and complete discharge cleans. However, these devices became another tool staff had to carry. The alert and volume settings were difficult to manage, too. 

After some review with EVS staff and Geisinger’s information technology department, EVS leaders decided to upgrade to reduce the number of devices staff had to carry and utilize throughout their day. Eventually, the department purchased over 500 mobile devices across the system last summer. Implementation took place over several months, one facility at a time.

EVS staff now have one device to carry and utilize for communication through a protected text messaging system, which includes group message distribution capabilities as well as confirmation of the delivered message and when staff members have read it. The staff members also utilize the same device to accept and complete discharge cleans. The EVS team has found that the communication is clearer, confidential and timely, and the alert and volume settings are much easier to manage.