What is one of the first things you notice when you enter a building? How clean it is? Whether there’s trash or spills on the floor or carpet? What a difference it makes when you walk into a clean, well-maintained building. Right away you know the people who work there care about their environment.

Every day, the housekeeping staff at The Outer Banks Hospital contributes to the cleanliness and tidiness of the hospital. And now they have been recognized for their hard work.

Close to two years ago, the hospital embarked on our “Journey to Excellence” to improve all areas of customer service. Facilities Director Mike Lynch signed up the housekeeping staff for a competition among sister hospitals Chowan, Roanoke-Chowan and Bertie. Every other month, the 4 hospitals were the subject of an unannounced inspection from Saffelle, a janitorial supply partner, who graded each hospital on its cleanliness.

In just 6 months, The Outer Banks Hospital’s score jumped from a 73% to a 97%. “The competition really challenged the staff,” said Lynch. “They wanted the trophy.” The trophy is a handsome glass plaque, which reads “Best of the Best – in recognition of your outstanding performance, dedication and passion.” Whichever hospital turned in the best score won the trophy for those 2 months. At the end of the year, the hospital with the best composite score would get to keep the trophy.

This fall, the winning hospital was announced at a picnic for the housekeeping staffs of all 4 hospitals. In addition, the all-hospital “Employee of the Year” was announced. The big winner was The Outer Banks Hospital and the hospital’s own Beatriz White. “We won by 7/100th of a point,” said Lynch. “And just like in the Olympics, it was that little extra bit that counted.”

The “Best of Best” trophy is proudly displayed at the information desk in the hospital’s main lobby. The Outer Banks Hospital’s Environmental Team realizes they’ve got to beat their own record this coming year. “Saffelle’s never given a score of 100,” said Lynch. “But that’s what they’re aiming for.”