Hospital safety is a top priority in order for hospitals to achieve their care providing goals. Maintaining the safety of hospital patients and staff can prevent up to 450,000 patient deaths and 250,000 employee injuries each year. Due to the lack of proper safety training and guidlines, hospitals are the third biggest contributor for deaths in the US every year.
Below are 5 ways hospitals can work towards ending those statistics by ensuring the safety of their patients and staff.
1. Creating a Culture that Makes Safety an Absolute Top Priority
A great way to do this is to start weekly safety meetings to go over safety guidlines and address any safety incidents from the previous week by discussing what happened, how they should be handled, and how they can be prevented in the future. To reinforce what was discussed in the weekly meetings hang printed guidelines for staff and patients to follow everywhere throughout the hospital. In the weekly meetings discuss the importance of transparency between staff members as well as with the patients, communication is key to ensuring safety. Create a checks and balance system that analyses and assesses the flow of communication between staff and patients.
2. Create Safety Standards and Rewards for Following Those Standards
Many safety incidents happen due to what may seem as small risks. Staff members have been known to injur themselves or others due to taking small risks that, at the time, did not seem like much of a risk at all. A nurse in philadelphia required 4 metal screws to be placed in her back due to an injury that happened while lifting a patient into bed. Establishing safety standards and rewards for consistenly following those rules can prevent “small” risks from being taken all together. If the hospital in philadelphia had a safety rule where all patients must be lifted with at least 3 or more staff members, the nurse would not have needed 4 screws in her back and the incident would have been avoided. Create safety rules for your hospital and monthly rewards for continuously following them, as well as disciplinary actions for when they are not followed. Talk about what went right and what went wrong in your weekly safety meetings and reward accordingly.
3. Nuturing Staff-Patient Relationships
Continuing to build good relationships between hospital staff and patients is absolutely essential to open communication. With open communication between staff and patients more often than not a problem can be avoided. Hospital leadership can set requirements for the staff to abide by when interacting with patients. Those requirements should include a few ways that show the patient the staff truly cares about them. Such requirements should be questions about how they feel, complimenting them, asking about family wellbeing, relating to their situation and comforting them or going out of their way for the patient such as bringing them a blanket. Relationship building techniques can bridge the communication gap that often occurs when a patient is too shy to bring up how they feel physically or emtionally, therefore hindering the staffs ability to better care for them.
4. Develop Coordinated Safety Oversight
Creating a team that oversees safety guildlines and ensures they are followed through proper accountability is important if a hospital is aiming to see progress in maintaining the safety of staff and patients. Choose specific leaders in the hospital to create teams for each department that not only facilitate the weekly safety meetings but also police the hospital making sure rules are followed and identifying safety hazards that need to be discussed in the weekly meetings.
5. Provide Consistent Safety Training
Quarterly training and frequent drilling of emergency situations can prepare employees to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Here at MABPRO.com we provide top of the line training to ensure that hospitals are confident in not only keeping everyone safe but also confident in their ability to handle the situations that do go wrong. We administer highly interactive crisis and assaultive behavior management classes as well as active shooter training so hospital employees are completely confident in their ability to handle dangerous situations.
“By Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail” – Benjamin Franklin