Keeping Emerson Clean and Safe — A Q&A with Environmental Services Leaders


Strict cleaning standards have always been in place at Emerson Hospital, based on protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent infection. Yerina Diaz, environmental services (EVS) group leader and Mike Ponte, manager of environmental services, share how the hospital stays clean for the safety of our patients and staff. The EVS team is responsible for cleaning everything at Emerson – from patient rooms to hallways, chairs, elevator buttons, door knobs, bathrooms, equipment, waiting areas, and more.

Q: What is the EVS team doing to keep the hospital clean and safe?
A: Our whole team is thoroughly trained in the latest cleaning protocols that are required by the Centers for Disease Control. We identified new innovations to ensure every area at Emerson meets the strictest cleaning requirements. Every single day and night, including on weekends, we clean every part of Emerson in keeping with the CDC and Emerson infection control guidelines.

Q: Are you using any new equipment to keep Emerson clean?
A: Yes, we purchased Clorox Total 360 systems with an electrostatic sprayer. The machine delivers Clorox cleaning solution to the front, back and sides of all surfaces. The CDC recommends this system to kill viruses and bacteria, including COVID, SARS, MRSA and C-Diff. The 360 provides complete coverage for enhanced germ protection. All EVS staff, including first, second and third shifts, are trained to use the Total 360 system.

We do not use any rags, mops or other equipment that is not disposable. This helps ensure that germs do not spread.

In addition to cleaning equipment, all of our staff is fully trained on wearing appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment). When needed, we wear N95 masks that are properly fit, as per Emerson’s health policies. This keeps us safe as we work hard to keep patients and the whole hospital safe.

Q: How do you communicate with each other to make sure everything is getting cleaned in a timely, regular way?
A: We do rounds throughout the hospital to ensure our high cleaning quality and standards are met. In addition, our staff is very team-oriented and we regularly talk with each other during shifts to find out what is needed to ensure maximum cleaning standards are met at all times. At the end of every shift we have a team huddle with the incoming shift where we discuss how many patients we have in the hospital, where extra vigilance is needed, discuss any questions anyone has and any updated protocols. This ensures the new shift coming in is prepared and ready to clean in the best ways possible.

Q: Do you feel safe coming to work?
Yerina: I do feel safe. We have had many trainings and clean the hospital using special equipment and in keeping with CDC and Emerson guidelines. We clean high-touch areas many times a day. We are constantly cleaning them: doorknobs, railings, hand sanitizer dispensers, everything. We have enough PPE and we work as a team — I feel good about that.

Q: What do you enjoy about your work?
Yerina: I like everything about my work at Emerson. People are very nice — my colleagues, patients, everyone. I like to talk with our patients. We always try to help patients feel better; we try our best to brighten their day and bring them good energy.

If you have a question for Emerson’s EVS team or would like to send them a positive note, please send an email to and we will be in touch with you.