Risk Management Tools & Resources

 

 

15 Ways Hospitals Can Improve Environmental Safety and Reduce Falls

Laura M. Cascella, MA

15 Ways Hospitals Can Improve Environmental Safety and Reduce Falls

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

The factors that contribute to patient falls in hospitals are numerous and sometimes complex, resulting in a problem that has no simple or global solution. In some situations, patients might be at a high risk of falling due to medical conditions, cognitive impairments, medications, or other intrinsic factors. Some patients might fall as a result of an unanticipated medical event, such as a seizure. In other instances, patients might fall simply as a result of environmental hazards, such as a poorly placed piece of furniture, a cord, or clutter.

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Evaluating Your Hospital’s Safety Culture as Part of Fall Prevention Initiatives

Laura M. Cascella, MA

Evaluating Your Hospital's Safety Culture as Part of Fall Prevention Initiatives

Falls are a common risk management and patient safety concern in U.S. hospitals. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) estimates that each year, between 700,000 and 1 million people in the United States fall in hospitals.¹

Although some patient falls result in minimal or no harm, other falls can have severe consequences such as fractures, lacerations, or internal bleeding. For healthcare staff, falls can result in an increased workload (both in relation to patient care and documentation), poor satisfaction survey results, and litigation.

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Injection Safety: Key Risk Management Tips

Injection Safety: Key Risk Management Tips

Safe injection practices are a vital component of healthcare organizations' infection prevention and control efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) One & Only Campaign, lapses in injection safety can put patients at risk for adverse events, including transmission of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, fungal infections, and bacterial infections.

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Infection Prevention and Control Strategies for Reusable Medical/Dental Instruments

Ambulatory healthcare facilities — such as clinics, surgery centers, medical offices, and dental offices — must make concerted efforts to prevent and control the risk of infectious diseases and outbreaks. The importance of infection prevention and control in ambulatory care has become more defined in recent years as a result of the increasing shift from inpatient to outpatient care.

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Due Diligence of Outsourced Compounding Services as Part of Infection Prevention and Control Efforts

Data suggest that the majority of hospitals outsource some or all of their compounded sterile preparations (CSPs), and more will likely do so in the future. The reasons for outsourcing are numerous...

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Put It in Writing: An Overview of Pain Management Contracts

Healthcare providers who have patients that require pain medications as part of their treatment regimens might want to consider pain management contracts as a technique to improve patient adherence and address problematic patient behaviors. Part of practitioners' role in patient care includes setting standards and expectations for effective relationships.

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Opioid Prescribing: Navigating Through a Crisis

In recent years, opioids have become a hot button issue in healthcare. The use of these powerful analgesics has risen dramatically over the past 15 years, and misuse has led to an epidemic of opioid overdoses and a national heroin crisis.

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Healthcare's Second Victims: A Problem That Should Not Be Ignored

In any discussion of managing unanticipated outcomes in healthcare, including medical errors, the immediate concern is supporting patients who are affected by these incidents. Patients are considered the "first victims" of unanticipated outcomes, and healthcare organizations and providers have a duty to provide them with truthful information, follow-up care, and emotional support.

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Documenting Unanticipated Outcomes: An Essential Part of the Disclosure Process

Documentation is a critical aspect of healthcare delivery because it memorializes patient care, facilitates communication among caregivers, forms the basis for coding and billing, provides data pertinent to quality improvement, and may provide information that is critical to the defense of a legal action.

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Risk Strategies for Disclosing an Unanticipated Outcome

Disclosing an unanticipated outcome to a patient/family can be daunting and stressful. Healthcare providers may worry about the possibility of litigation, damage to their reputations, workplace consequences, or even just upsetting patients/families.

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