Patient Safety is a Mindset How to Get Hospital Staff on Board
Each year, thousands of people dread having to be hospitalized for any reason because of the horror stories that do the rounds regarding injuries, illnesses and adverse events that take place there. This has resulted in many hospitals deciding to do everything in their power to help ensure that patient safety becomes the responsibility of every hospital employee. Here are a few ways in which hospitals have managed to get employees involved in this.
Many errors and interventions occur as a result of nursing staff being too afraid to report incidents to supervisors due to fear of reprisal. However, a large number of incidents that could have severely negative effects on patient safety levels could be avoided if the channels of communication between nurses, doctors, supervisors and administration employees were not only just introduced, but encouraged and used as much as possible. In the event of errors being made regarding a patients care, these channels could very well make all the difference between sorting it out as quickly as possible and having it escalate into something a lot more serious.
Limit Shift Durations
Extensive research has been done with regards to the effects that longer working hours have on nursing staff and other medical residents. Employees who are severely fatigued stand a far higher chance of making mistakes with patient care routines that can vary from minor to life-threatening. In a book entitled Resident Duty Hours: Enhancing Sleep, Supervision, and Safety, it is recommended that medical residents be allowed to work a maximum of 80 hours each week. It also recommends that residents who work 30 hour shifts not be allowed to treat patients for more than 16 consecutive hours and they should also be granted 5 hours protected sleep between 10 PM and 8 AM.
Offer Incentives for Good Performance
It’s no secret that nurses, resident doctors and other hospital employees not only work extremely long hours; the work they do is severely stressful as well. As a result, employee morale can be a lot lower than in most other industries. However, this can usually be remedied by providing some form of incentive system to employees who have been known to go beyond the regular call of duty to ensure that patient safety levels of those in their care are as highly maintained as possible. These incentives could be in the form of additional monetary compensation or other small rewards that will help encourage employees to do everything possible to improve patient safety levels.
It may take a short while to ensure that all hospital employees are on board and willing to do their part with regards to implementing measures that will ensure that all of the patients in their care receive the correct medications and treatments at all times. However, once a regular patient safety routine has been successfully established, it will go a long way in helping to ensure that all hospital patients are completely satisfied with the care they are receiving.