Spring 2014

In This Issue
OSHA: How Safe Is Your Hospital for Workers?
Slipping, Tripping and Falling at Work
10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals
ECRI: “The Lift Tool”

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Texas Mutual Insurance Safety Resource Center 

OSHA: How Safe Is Your Hospital for Workers?

        

Did you know that a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work?

In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded 58,860 work-related injuries and illnesses that caused employees to miss work.* In terms of lost-time case rates, it is more hazardous to work in a hospital than in construction or manufacturing. Hospitals have serious hazards, including: lifting, transferring, and repositioning patients; violence; needlesticks; and other concerns. Hospital work takes place in an unpredictable environment with a unique culture. Caregivers feel an ethical duty to “do no harm” to patients, and some will even put their own safety and health at risk to help a patient.

Most injuries result from a few well-known hazards.

Nearly half (48 percent) of injuries resulting in days away from work are caused by overexertion or bodily reaction, which includes motions such as lifting, bending, or reaching.* These motions often relate to patient handling. The resulting injuries are often musculoskeletal in nature.

 

Workplace safety also affects patient care.

Manual lifting can injure caregivers and also put patients at risk of falls, fractures, bruises, and skin tears. Caregiver fatigue, injury, and stress are tied to a higher risk of medication errors and patient infections.*

 

Click here to read the full brief from OSHA.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a suite of resources to help hospitals understand workplace safety needs, implement safety and health management systems, and enhance their safe patient handling programs. To learn best practices to reduce workplace injuries while saving money and improving patient care, visit www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals

 

*Injury and illness rates presented above come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The workers’ compensation payroll rate comes from a national survey conducted by Aon Risk Solutions. The connections between caregiver and patient safety have been documented in the published literature.

 

Excerpt taken from OSHA March 27, 2014

Slipping, Tripping and Falling at Work

 

Prevention of Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards for Hospital Workers

 

To investigate an infusion pump alarm, a nurse enters a patient’s room at night very quietly, using a flashlight, to avoid waking the patient. She doesn’t see a duffel bag that has been placed by a family member on the floor just inside the room and trips over it, breaking her wrist as she hits the floor.

 

A member of the housekeeping staff is cleaning a sink and slips on something on the floor, twisting her back as she tries to keep herself from falling. A close look at the spill reveals that hand sanitizer has dripped onto the floor underneath a wall-mounted dispenser.

 

Slip, trip, and fall (STF) events are the second leading cause of workers’ compensation claims in hospitals. In 2010, a total of 12,400 STF events accounted for 21% of all work-related injuries in hospitals requiring at least 1 day away from work. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the incidence rate of lost-workday injuries from same-level STFs in hospitals was 33.8 per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, which is 73% higher than the average rate of STF events for workers in private industry (19.5 per 10,000 FTE).

 

The healthcare industry is the largest employer in the United States, with an estimated 15.7 million workers. Between 2008 and 2018, healthcare growth is projected to be higher than any other industrial sector, adding 3.2 million new jobs.

 

Best Practice Research

Fall prevention in hospitals typically focuses on patients, with little attention paid to STF events involving hospital staff. Contrary to popular belief, STF events can be prevented. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), in collaboration with a team of international experts, conducted laboratory and field research to identify best practices to prevent STF events among hospital workers. The research culminated in a 10-year intervention trial in 3 acute care hospitals, demonstrating that a comprehensive STF prevention program can be highly effective in reducing the rate of STF workers’ compensation claims.

 

Researchers worked with hospital staff to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive STF prevention program. After implementing the program, the hospital’s total STF workers’ compensation claims decreased by 59%. More details on implementing a comprehensive STF prevention program in healthcare facilities can be found on the NIOSH Web site.

 

For full synopsis and more detailed source citations, click here.

 

Synopsis taken from medscape.com

10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals

 

Medical errors may occur in different health care settings, and those that happen in hospitals can have serious consequences. TheAgency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which has sponsored hundreds of patient safety research and implementation projects, offers these 10 evidence-based tips to prevent adverse events from occurring in your hospital.

 

Click here to view AHRQ’s publication.

ECRI: The “Lift Tool”

 

The ECRI institute is a nonprofit that researches the best way to improve patient safety and quality in healthcare. It offers resources to achieve that goal.

 

The “Lift Tool” is a one-page brief on the basics of safe patient lifting practices for nurses and other healthcare providers. The brief contains both statistics on patient lifts and best practices for safe lifting.

 

Download the “Lift Tool” for use in your own facility.

 

Source from beckershospitalreview.com

About Safety Matters:        
It is our hope that this publication, in addition to Texas Mutual’s Safety Resource Center, proves a useful tool to promote safety in our members’ hospitals. The newsletter will focus on Safety Issues that specifically trend to our membership hospitals.

We hope to hear from you on safety issues your hospital is facing and on successful safety procedures you have implemented. It is the Safety Committee’s goal to create a collaborative exchange of ideas that contributes to making all of our hospitals safer which, in turn, will increase our Safety Group’s benefits.

Please send your ideas, questions, and comments to safety@hotcomp.net.

Why Your Safety Matters:
You’re receiving this email as a member of the HOTCOMP Safety Group. The group is a joint effort between HealthSure Insurance Services and Texas Mutual Insurance Company. Group members receive exclusive benefits like targeted safety

resources, a discount on their workers compensation insurance and potential dividends based upon the safe performance of the group. HOTCOMP group participants have shared in over $1 million ingroup dividends since 2008 in addition to individual dividends fromTexas Mutual.

Posted in Safety Matters.