Hospital to outsource services to improve cleanliness

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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In order to improve cleanliness at Memorial Hospital and Manor and potentially save money in the long run, the Hospital Authority voted to outsource its environmental services to Felder Services.

Based in Mobile, Alabama, Felder Services will inherit the current housekeeping staff at Memorial Hospital and Manor and train them in a system that will improve the appearance and cleanliness of the hospital and manor. Felder will pay and provide benefits to the employees, who will be overseen by a manager from Felder that will work at the hospital fulltime. The cleaning done to Memorial Hospital and Manor will also be subject to inspection from Felder’s corporate office every two weeks.

Felder will bring in new and up-to-date equipment as well as use some of the equipment that is already installed at Memorial Hospital and Manor.

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The contract with Felder includes an annual fee of $926,580 to be paid monthly. Currently, the hospital is spending roughly $883,000 in housekeeping and laundry related services. Felder also offers an early pay discount that incentivized the authority to possibly save money in the long run by using the service.

“We are paying payroll, which represents a lot of the $883,000 every two weeks now, so I don’t see any reason for us not to take advantage of that early pay discount,” said Glennie Bench, Hospital Authority Chairwoman.

The cleanliness of Memorial Hospital and Manor was one of the criticisms recorded at a recent Town Hall Meeting between hospital officials and the community. Outsourcing the environmental services would serve two purposes, according to Support Services Director Lee Harris: increase patient satisfaction and lower the hospital’s costs.

The Hospital Authority is confident using Felder Services will do both.

“We are probably getting what we are paying for right now in environmental services,” said CEO Jim Lambert. “We are probably not right where we need to be.”

The systematic approach Felder uses starts with one big cleaning at the beginning of the contract, which is then maintained throughout the duration of the contract. Harris said negotiations for the duration of the contract Memorial Hospital and Manor will engage in are still underway.

“The contract has a 60 days out,” said Harris. “You get your staff back and they get their equipment back.”