MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsCatalyst PDF FileMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause

MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


MUSC shines with APPA cleaning application

Maintaining the appearance of buildings and providing quality workspaces for MUSC employees, students and faculty is the mission of a team of custodial professionals and housekeepers of MUSC Facilities Management.
The Facilities Management team struggled through some transition and a tough economic year including streamlining of their operations while having to maintain efficiency and quality standards with their customers.
Since July, this group has been pushing the envelope when it comes to providing their services to internal customers throughout miles of office space, free-standing houses and more than 60 buildings that help compose MUSC’s 70-plus acre campus located in the City of Charleston.
“What we needed was to identify a mechanism that could accurately track the campus’ level of cleanliness with custodial staffing levels to develop a quality cleaning plan for the university,” said Paul LoCicero, MUSC Quality Control manager. “We found it through the Association of Physical Plant Administrators’ (APPA) Clean Ops program.”
This new audit assessment tool is designed to help organizations determine their baseline cleanliness levels, compared to standard space —office areas, labs, classrooms and buildings—and other related data to determine the amount of space that required cleaning. Building space was categorized into areas as defined by APPA guidelines—level 1, orderly spotlessness; level 2, ordinary tidiness; level 3, casual inattention; level 4, moderate dinginess; and level 5, unkept neglect.
MUSC joins the California Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, the Louisiana State University Health Science Center and the American Museum of Natural History as one of 160 private American companies and institutions that utilize the Clean Ops Staff program.
Space is evaluated by custodial supervisors like Virginia James. James, who regularly inspects about 62 buildings per month or 70,000 square feet, uses a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device to randomly inspect clean work spaces and areas. James’ PDA is loaded with an APPA application that uses a number scoring system (1-5, with 5 being the lowest) to evaluates a room’s floors, lighting, trash containers, horizontal and vertical surfaces.
Data from these space utilization reports are used to provide customizable audits for management and feedback to zone supervisors and housekeeping staff within five areas of campus. So far, the results have been positive with comparable data and improved efficiency among custodial staff. MUSC’s Quality program, MUSC Excellence, has already shared positive reports and comments from department representatives and employees through the last quarterly internal customer surveys.
“The program provides a great checks-and-balance system for our operation and allows us to make any adjustments and schedule work for our teams to respond in specific areas,” said Fred Farris Jr., and MUSC Facilities Management zone supervisor. “It allows us to address problems even before they happen while still maintaining a clean environment.”
According to LoCicero, because there’s greater work efficiency as a result of using this program there’s time for housekeeping staff to expand their cleaning effort in other areas and special projects. It also provides James and other supervisors greater time to round on their internal customers, share report findings and most importantly, gain feedback.
“We’re glad that this new APPA custodial inspection program has helped meet our needs and expectations for providing a good service while keeping our internal customers happy,” said John C. Malmrose, chief facilities officer, MUSC Engineering and Facilities.
“Our focus is on quality and accountability and sometimes it’s tough to meet all of our customer’s expectations. This program allows us to do things more effectively and reach beyond our expectations,” Malmrose said.

Friday, Feb. 19, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.