Risk Management Tools & Resources

 


15 Ways Hospitals Can Improve Environmental Safety and Reduce Falls

Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

environmental-safety-fall-prevention-hospitals

Patient falls continue to represent a vexing and persistent problem for hospitals. A collaborative publication from The Joint Commission, the Health Research and Educational Trust, and the American Hospital Association notes that "Despite long-term and widespread attention to fall prevention, patients continue to fall, and many of these falls result in injury."1

Although falls occur in all types of healthcare settings, they are particularly concerning in inpatient settings.

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Enhancing Safety Culture as Part of Fall Prevention Initiatives in Hospitals

Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

fall-prevention-hospital-safety-culture

Patient falls are a common risk management and safety concern in various healthcare settings, but particularly in hospitals where patients might be at increased risk of falling “due to an unfamiliar environment, new medications and symptoms of acute illness.”1 The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that between 700,000 and 1 million hospitalized patients in the United States fall each year.2

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Infection Prevention and Control Strategies for Managing Reusable Medical Instruments and Devices in Senior Care Facilities

reusable-med-devices-instruments-seniorcare

Senior care facilities, like other healthcare facilities, must make deliberate and coordinated efforts to prevent and control infectious diseases and outbreaks — the importance of which is even more pronounced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its tragic toll on nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

For senior care providers, the importance of implementing infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies is particularly evident due to the vulnerability of the populations they serve. Residents often are at heightened risk for infections as a result of declining health, comorbidities, frequent interactions with caregivers, open wounds, use of medical devices, and other factors.1

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Preparing Your Healthcare Practice for Environmental Emergencies: Training Staff Members

Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

environmental-emergency-preparedness-trainingstaff

Environmental emergencies can occur at any time and any place, and they can have widespread consequences for individuals, businesses, and communities. Natural disasters, severe weather, industrial accidents, chemical and oil spills, and unintentional radiation exposure are all examples of potential environmental emergencies.

For healthcare practices, emergency preparedness for environmental crises is paramount to safeguarding patients, family members, visitors, providers, staff, and office infrastructure; minimizing adverse effects; preventing losses; and facilitating recovery efforts.

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Preparing Your Healthcare Practice for Environmental Emergencies: Developing a Response Plan

Laura M. Cascella, MA, CPHRM

environmental-emergency-preparedness-responseplan

History has shown society’s vulnerability to a myriad of environmental disasters — but it also has shown how preparedness efforts can have a significant impact on disaster outcomes. Despite an element of unpredictability that is inherent in many natural and manmade environmental emergencies, planning and preparation are powerful and effective tools for managing these situations.

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Preparing Your Healthcare Practice for Environmental Emergencies: Identifying and Assessing Risks

History has shown that natural disasters and other environmental crises can occur with limited warning and may necessitate a rapid emergency response. In the United States alone, 125 emergency declarations occurred in 2020, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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Managing Medical Emergencies: A Three-Pronged Approach for Healthcare Practices

Medical emergencies — unexpected events that lead to bodily injuries or critical medical conditions — can occur anywhere, including healthcare practices. In fact, the occurrence of medical emergencies in healthcare settings might not be as uncommon as many people think.

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Preventing Medical Emergencies in Healthcare Practices

Medical emergencies in healthcare practices are a persistent concern. Although some medical emergencies are inevitable, others can potentially be avoided through careful patient evaluation and assessment.1 In an article titled “Knowing Your Patient,” Dr. Stanley Malamed explains that the prevention of medical emergencies relies on gathering adequate and appropriate information and assessing the patient’s level of care-related anxiety.2

Several steps in the patient care process are critical in the prevention effort, including the medical questionnaire, the provider–patient encounter, and the physical exam.

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