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Tidy Tuesdays is alive and well on 16 CCN

Toronto, December 3, 2013

By Heather Brown

Josie Tambal, a clinical assistant on 16 CC-North prepares to move a WOW from the cluttered hallway during her Tidy Tuesday audit.
Josie Tambal, a clinical assistant on 16 CC-North prepares to move a WOW from the cluttered hallway during her Tidy Tuesday audit. (Photo by Yuri Markarov, St. Michael's Hospital)

Cleanliness matters. So much so that staff from 16 Cardinal Carter North make it a priority in their daily routine.

What started as a hospital-wide cleanliness initiative five years ago, Tidy Tuesdays has become a mainstay on the General Surgery Unit and is further reinforced through weekly cleanliness audits each Tuesday.

“Our staff has really embraced this initiative,” said Katherine Mansfield, a clinical nurse educator on the unit. “Seeing the difference between what it’s like to work in a clean unit versus a cluttered unit motivates staff to remove extra equipment out of patient rooms and hallways, eliminate garbage and unnecessary paperwork from behind the nursing station and ensure bathrooms are free from mess.”

Every Tuesday two staff members are responsible for auditing the unit’s cleanliness. In addition to checking for equipment and surveying the nursing station, they also monitor the white boards in every patient room to ensure they include the correct date and name of the nurse providing care for the day or night shift. A yes or no score is recorded and the overall total is reported at the team meeting each week.

“Not only has Tidy Tuesdays helped us keep our busy unit organized and safe, it has also made us more aware of any excess supplies we have,” said Joanne Bennett, the unit’s clinical leader manager. “Knowing when we are well stocked with certain items and low on others has made us more fiscally responsible.”

According to Mansfield, patients often comment about how clean the unit feels and how much they appreciate having their white boards updated to reflect who is caring for them that day.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.