How to Improve Your Hospital Safety Score
- Oct 11, 2016
Creating a safe environment for your patients and hospital staff is an important goal for every hospital to prioritize. A plethora of safety-threatening issues can arise at any time in any hospital, including problems like hospital-associated infections (HAIs), accidents and natural disasters. Handling these potentially dangerous events can be an overwhelming task. As hospital management, it’s imperative to be prepared for these emergency situations to better improve overall safety at your facility.
Below are a few tips for cultivating a safe healthcare environment and increasing preparedness for emergencies.
1. Cultivate a Quality Culture
The first step in improving your overalls hospital safety score is to focus on your healthcare organization’s culture. Fostering a workplace culture that values teamwork, accountability an environment that encourages speaking up can help reduce the number of quality issues that arise in your hospital.
According to Health Catalyst, a scary 20% of healthcare professionals admitted that they would not speak up if they witnessed an issue or accident committed by their fellow employee. Another concerning figure is that in wrong site surgeries, 60-80% of people interviewed said they knew the incision was being made in the wrong place but did not speak up.
Cultivating a culture where employees are able to speak up and encouraged to improve the hospital by improving each other is crucial to improving overall hospital safety. When healthcare workers feel comfortable communicating they are able to decrease the number of hospital accidents in their environment.
2. Adopt Evidence-Based Practices
The next tip for improving your healthcare facility’s overall safety is to ensure your employees are following evidence-based best practices. Earlier this year, Healthcare IT News reported that evidence-based practices were going underutilized in hospitals.
Evidence-based practice looks at research findings, quality improvement data and expert opinion to identify methods of improvement within healthcare environments. This form of practice encourages healthcare professionals to ask “why” existing methods are used and to provoke problem-solving thoughts on how to improve them.
Ensuring your hospital makes evidence-based practice a high priority can help improve high-quality care. Following evidence-based practices can also improve safety in patient handling and movement—helping to avoid patient accidents and the spread of HAIs.
3. Develop Natural Disaster Plans
Last but not least, hospital management cannot afford to overlook natural disasters and the catastrophic impacts they can have on hospital operations. Floods, blizzards, earthquakes and severe storms can all present nasty effects to healthcare facilities and as healthcare management it’s your job to ensure the highest quality care is still provided to patients without compromising the safety of your employees.
Natural disaster plans should be put in place for hospital employees to ensure they can get to work safely in dangerous conditions or stay at the hospital in the case that no safe travel options exist. Safe travel can oftentimes be accessed by contacting the National Guard to transport necessary personnel like doctors and nurses. Severe weather conditions also present an extreme danger to life flight operations. Monitoring wind speeds and lightning strikes is the only way to ensure a safe landing for life flights. Have a plan to divert life flight operations to another facility if there is a dangerous storm overhead.
Not only do hospitals have to be prepared for these events, but they also have to be prepared for the influx of new patients these events can bring.
Share Your Hospital Safety Score Tips!
There’s a lot of issues that can arise at a healthcare facility. As healthcare professionals, it is your job to improve your hospital safety score and foster an environment that is safe and friendly for both patients and staff. Do you have any great safety tips that help improve your hospital safety score? Please share them in the comments section below!