Healthcare facilities are unique environments where patients receive appropriate care and intervention. In such settings, workers are expected to deliver precision quality care to produce favorable outcomes.
However, these institutions of care can also present significant hazards to workers’ health and well-being. Managers can address this issue by implementing a comprehensive healthcare safety strategy that ensures that workplace accidents are minimized. It also fosters a pro-active safety culture where workers are empowered to enforce safety protocols as part of their everyday care routines.
What is a Healthcare Safety Strategy?
Much of the literature on healthcare safety strategy prioritizes patient health and safety at the expense of the providers’ well-being and work-life issues. This emphasis continues up to the present and leaves worker issues unaddressed. In truth, patient and worker health and safety are interrelated. An amplified focus on the well-being of workers is necessary for professionals to continue the delivery of life-sustaining treatment and care.
A healthcare safety strategy serves to eliminate the gap and combine patient and worker health safety as its main priority. It outlines the needed mechanisms to effectively communicate and practice safety across all sectors and levels of healthcare.
A healthcare safety strategy has the following components:
- Identify workplace hazards (biological, chemical, environmental, physical, psychosocial)
- Provide personal protective equipment to safeguard workers
- Modify routines to minimize hazards
- Implement control and isolation procedures
- Employ alternative methods to eliminate risks
- Removal of potential hazards
A healthcare safety strategy aims to equip workers with the necessary protection against hazards and reduce workplace injuries. It also serves to minimize exposure and provide contingencies in case of accidents. As a preventive measure, a healthcare safety strategy can include training on proper handling of chemical substances and fire safety.
Implementing Healthcare Safety Strategy
Communication is vital in implementing a healthcare safety strategy. Managers and supervisors are at the forefront of this initiative as they have the responsibility to inform employees. Setting up the necessary signages in the facility, water cooler talks, and regular training can equip healthcare workers with adequate information to reduce workplace injuries and prevent work-related accidents and illness.
Communication must be a two-way interaction, as feedback is necessary for the strategy to succeed. Managers should encourage fellow healthcare workers to report untoward incidents and take proactive rather than reactive steps to modify the healthcare safety strategy. Incidents and injuries require proper investigation and documentation to help managers modify the strategy to eliminate the recurrence of hazards and provide more suitable alternatives.
Managers should likewise encourage fellow healthcare workers to adhere to the healthcare safety strategy for the entire duration of their shift. It must be given emphasis and constant practice, until it becomes part of their workplace safety routine, and eventually establish a safety culture within the healthcare setting.
Promoting Safety Culture
The ultimate goal of a healthcare safety strategy is to promote a strong culture of worker safety. It requires the commitment of all healthcare workers. This continuous practice serves to unite everyone to a common goal to reduce misses and accidents. It goes beyond paperwork and compliance, as it aims to permeate everyday healthcare practices.
Safety strategy must also reflect the values, attitudes, and beliefs of healthcare workers at all levels. It is a proactive culture that operates on increased responsibility and accountability of everyone concerned.
Benefits Of A Healthcare Safety Strategy
Healthcare safety strategy can benefit individual workers and the organization as a whole. The benefits include:
- Reduced Accident and Injury Costs
Healthcare safety strategies can reduce expenses related to workplace accidents and injuries. Proper education and training inform healthcare workers on how to avoid hazards and established protocols (PPE, investigation, and reporting). It likewise anticipates potential situations and prevents mishaps.
- Increased Productivity
A safety culture provides the healthcare workforce a sense of security while they dedicate their service to providing care. It minimizes absences and ensures adequate staffing during critical times.
- Enhance Healthcare Worker Morale
An emphasis on safety makes workers feel valued. Encouraging employees to report potential lapses in safety mechanisms and eliciting suggestions for improved procedures ingrains accountability.
- Lessen Hiring and Training Costs
Safe and secure workplaces inspire workers to continue their service despite the intense and demanding nature of healthcare settings. Healthcare safety strategies also contribute to employee retention, which reduces the need for hiring additional staff. A culture of safety also guarantees that workers remain committed to their well-being, thus diminishing the need for retraining to achieve desired safety goals.
A safety strategy serves as a mechanism to promote a culture of safety in healthcare settings. It impacts employee morale and productivity. It also produces a significant reduction in injury-related costs, making it a beneficial undertaking for all healthcare institutions.
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.