ASHES Conference Sets Out to ‘Brand’ Excellence

Bruce Beggs |

SAN ANTONIO — Members of the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) will be gathering here next month for their 23rd Annual Conference and Healthcare Marketplace.
This year’s theme is about branding excellence for healthcare environmental services, housekeeping professionals and other healthcare support services disciplines.
The Grand Hyatt Hotel and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center will serve as hosts for the Sept. 7-11 event, which will feature networking opportunities as well as an extensive educational program.
The conference has educational tracks based on the Institute of Medicine’s "Six Aims for Improvement in Healthcare: Equity, Timeliness, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Patient Centeredness and Patient Safety."
ASHES considers itself the premier association for nearly 2,300 professionals in environmental services and its related disciplines.EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS AIM TO MEET ‘AIMS’
General sessions are planned each day of the conference, featuring speakers such as members of Afterburner, a group of fighter pilots who train leaders to use “Flawless Execution” tools and techniques. William Rutala, Ph.D., M.P.H., will present "Clostridium Difficile: A Growing Threat in Your Facility" to close the conference.
More than 45 learning lab sessions covering multiple areas are also planned. Several should be of interest to those involved in laundry and linen management:
• "Get Your House in Order – Building Blocks of Effective Linen Management," presented by Heidi Ayala and Janice Larson, directors of Cost Management Services for Encompass Textiles and Interiors.
This session identifies the components of an effective linen-management program, including establishing floor pars, the organization of linen storage areas, linen use policy, clean-linen distribution, soiled collection, emergency preparedness, inventory, performance improvement, quality control, and linen cost reduction/minimization.
• "Back to the 'Washing' Board: Linen Management Must-Haves," presented by Graham Skinner, RLLD.
In this session, Skinner will discuss the proper use of washer temperature and chemicals for optimal performance in a healthcare setting, as well as principles in infection control and their importance in a laundry operation.
• "Reducing Workplace Injuries," presented by Miriam Joffe, MS, PT, CPE, senior consulting ergonomist, Auburn Engineers.
This session will review the ergonomic principles applicable to environmental services and transportation personnel and will identify areas of highest injury. Joffe will review methods to correct these injuries with safe mechanical aids and proper body movement for working in an ergonomically correct fashion.
• "OSHA Regulatory Update," presented by Joann Natarajan, compliance assistance specialist, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
This session will provide updates regarding OSHA regulations and activity.
• "Infection Control (IC) Essentials," presented by Christina Wahrmund, RN, director of infection control, Metropolitan Methodist Hospital.
Wahrmund will describe methods to build best-practice relationships with IC professionals, develop a consistent method for the disinfection of common touch points throughout the hospital, and identify high-touch surfaces on which environmental services should concentrate efforts.
The Healthcare Marketplace will be open Sept. 8-9, enabling conference attendees to learn more about the products and services offered by approximately 120 exhibitors.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.


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