Health care is a career with vast rewards. Unfortunately, it also puts one’s health at risk with the physical demands of crowded hospitals, the stress of long shifts, and working closely with very ill patients. Although many health care facilities are progressing to prevent injury and illness, much more work remains. Here are four ways that your health care facility can improve the safety of your staff.
Encourage a Culture of Safety
Company culture influences a working environment. If your organization emphasizes staff safety, you are more likely to prevent accidents. When safety feels like part of the job, team members feel obligated to hold each other accountable. The most vital outcomes at any health care organization are patient safety, and patient experiences. When you reduce the potential for unnecessary accidents, you improve the overall success of a health care organization. Here are five tips on engaging your employees to keep them safe:
- Define your culture of safety
- Appoint ambassadors to advocate for a culture of safety
- Make training and education available for all staff
- Recognize and reward real-time behaviors of teamwork and collaboration
Improve Staff Scheduling
Two of the biggest challenges facing health care are keeping labor costs down and finding enough qualified people to fill teams. When a hospital is understaffed, the employees are overworked. The result is a rise in the risk of accidents. Yes, hospitals must control labor costs to remain profitable. But there must be a balance between minimizing cost and maximizing safety. To maintain safe staffing levels while controlling labor costs, consider taking the following actions:
- Limit or eliminate overtime
- Increase competent hires and reduce turnover rate
- Streamline workflow
- Vendor management systems
- Incorporate technologies such as staff scheduling software and predictive analytics
Improve Patient Handling
Moving and lifting patients is undoubtedly one of the most physically challenging aspects of the health care profession. Patients’ dependency on nursing staff increases, and medical equipment is becoming more complex, making patient-handling methods from the past ineffective. Nurses should always be encouraged to seek help when they need it to reduce injury to themselves and ensure the safety and comfort of the patients in their care.
Use Safer Medical Equipment
Medical devices are improving, and recent innovations eliminate health risks that plague staff and patients. Unfortunately, health care facilities don’t upgrade because they fail to recognize better solutions exist or have never considered switching. Technology can dramatically improve staff and patient safety by:
- Improving infection control
- Helping to prevent needlestick injuries
- Reducing medication errors
- Increasing protection against exposure to blood and drugs
- Minimizing disconnections and misconnections
Partner with myRNstaffingsolutions when you have a staffing need for a nurse. The staffing professionals will listen to your needs and work with you to create a solution that fits your budget.