Working in the healthcare industry is an incredibly fulfilling career, yet it is not free from its risks. For instance, every medical facility has a high number of potential health and safety risks that may cause damage to the property or injure patients and employees.
Given the fact a medical facility’s purpose is to help improve health and provide a safe place to recover, it’s vital that a strong stance is taken on health and safety processes. Even the most robust health and safety management system likely has areas that can be improved, so let’s take a look at 4 ways to increase safety at your medical facility:
Encourage a Culture of Safety
Any hospital or other medical facility that strongly encourages and promotes a culture of safety in their workplace generally sees a reduction in health and safety related incidents. Encouraging a culture of safety lets employees understand the importance of safety and how each one of them can contribute to this.
There are many ways to do this, such as emphasizing the importance of workplace safety to employees, analyzing current workplace safety to see where improvements can be made, and through management and executives leading by example.
Analyze Current Safety Processes to Set Goals for Improvements
There is a wealth of data in every healthcare facility regarding heath and safety processes. You can use this data to help establish what areas need to be improved and how you can set about making these improvements.
You can use data regarding safety incidents reported at the facility to see whether there is a common safety issue that can be targeted for improvement. There are various hazards at any medical facility, from biological to ergonomic hazards, so by analyzing which are most prevalent you can implement a suitable course of action to reduce risks and improve safety.
For example, storing medical gas cylinders in OSHA approved and seismic rated gas cylinder racks is a must for safety purposes.
Make Staff Scheduling More Efficient
Many incidents in medical facilities occur due to overworked staff. When there are too many tasks and not enough people to manage them, health and safety risks generally increase, so it’s important to have the most efficient staff schedules to increase safety for employees and patients.
Of course, you have a set amount of staff hours available to remain profitable, so always ensure the hours that are available are fully optimized. Reviewing current scheduling systems and asking for staff input can help make scheduling more efficient without going over budget.
Also, remember never to overwork employees with long shift durations, as fatigue in the workplace also increases the risks of safety incidents occurring.
Focus on the Most Prevalent Risks
Certain safety risks are more prevalent than others at a medical facility, while the type of facility also influences what risks are more predominant. So, it’s important to understand what risks are most prevalent so you can target areas to improve.
For instance, hospitals often have a high volume of musculoskeletal injuries in employees due to lifting/transferring immobile patients. If this is most common in your facility, investing in quality devices like slings and hoists could improve safety.
Always try to focus on improvement the areas your facility needs the most!
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