Masked people distributing food at hospital

In May, members of the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub) team showcased new stickers on Sweetgreen salads to promote the Safe Care Ideas initiative.

Earlier this summer, the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub) partnered with the COVID-19 Operations Committee to launch a crowdsourcing website, called Safe Care Ideas, for Brigham Health staff to contribute suggestions to facilitate the Safe Care Commitment (SCC).

The Safe Care Ideas initiative crowdsourced suggestions from staff on how to improve our SCC and identify gaps. In total, 75 ideas were submitted, reviewed and shared with teams across the hospital for consideration. The ideas, submitted by staff from across the hospital, covered a broad range of topics, including signage, masking, attestation, hand hygiene and more.

To date, over half of the suggestions are being implemented across Brigham Health, including a handful in Environmental Services (EVS). Two ideas that were submitted as part of the initiative focused on disinfecting areas across the hospital: “disinfecting escalator handrails on a regular and frequent basis,” and “more frequent disinfecting of employee workstations and high-touch objects.”

The iHub worked with Environmental Services on implementing these suggestions. Loay Kitmitto, CMIP, director of Environmental Services, said his team has increased the frequency of disinfecting high-touch surfaces, such as tables and chairs in shared seating areas, door handles, call buttons, light switches and hand rails, on the main campus.

Using feedback from the SCC crowdsourcing effort, EVS is also looking into securing dispensers with disposable, disinfecting wipes to be placed in common areas.

Caroline Coy, iHub Innovation Strategy manager, said it was exciting to see how quickly staff began suggesting ideas. Each time the website was promoted, the iHub received a new batch of helpful and innovative suggestions.

“Once the ideas were shared with those who could help, we received a positive response to implementing many of the suggestions in a timely manner,” Coy said.

Kitmitto said he’s proud of his staff for doing everything they can to honor the Safe Care Commitment and providing the safest possible environment for everyone who walks through the hospital doors.

“Every day, our staff are working behind the scenes to clean and disinfect to ensure the Brigham is clean and safe,” Kitmitto said. “Their roles are essential to the healing process for our patients. I always like to remind our staff of the important role they have on care teams.”

Kitmitto said that all EVS staff undergo mandatory training when they are hired so that they can learn more about infection control procedures and their responsibilities. In addition, EVS staff have the option of completing two training and certification programs, sponsored by the Association for the Healthcare Environment, that enhance their knowledge of best practices for cleaning and disinfecting in a hospital environment.

As a reminder, staff are encouraged to submit requests for service and assistance with various tasks using the Brigham at Its Best tool. Send a Fixit request by visiting on any desktop computer or mobile device. With just a few clicks or taps, staff can quickly submit requests from their desk or on the go. The site provides easy access to an extensive array of Brigham departments and services, including Environmental Services, Information Services, Security, environmental chemical waste collection, Interpreter Services, Audiovisual Services and more.