It is necessary to maintain the conditions of a healthcare facility, keeping it safe, sterilized, ready to care for patients. There are a number of strategies to promote safety in healthcare facilities that can benefit both staff and patients, thereby reducing the possibility of illness and harm for everyone. Consider the challenges your building faces on a daily basis and what you can do to improve upon your existing procedures.
Design Your Facility Around Safety
Your preventative measures need to start with the building itself, specifically its layout and design. This doesn’t mean massive renovation projects; instead, it can be as simple as installing some quality-of-life changes. Make sure the air quality and airflow are up to standard by inspecting your HVAC system and cleaning out or replacing any air filters as needed. Ensure lights provide proper illumination and install noise dampening solutions in louder areas.
Provide everyone, staff, visitors, and patients, with points where they can sanitize themselves before entering a new area of your building. Providing disposable shoe covers and the means to adequately sanitize is essential to stopping the spread of infection and harmful microbes.
Form a Response Procedure
There will be times when, despite your preventative measures, something will happen, whether it’s a patient sustaining an injury, or a staff member becoming exposed to harmful materials. You need a plan to deal with these situations as they come up to ensure everyone gets the help they need as fast as they can. Not having anything in place can lead to frantic responses that delay necessary help.
Educate Staff on Health and Safety Protocols
Having these emergency procedures in place won’t do much good if staff aren’t aware of what to do or if you don’t train them adequately. You can provide reading material or stage drills to acclimate staff to these procedures and make the protocol come more naturally to them. Post your safety policies and procedures in easy-to-find areas in case a staff member needs to refresh themselves on what to do in certain events.
Educate Patients on Health Information
You can’t always accurately determine what a patient is suffering from through examination; there may be times when the cause of sickness is not apparent. You can avoid these types of misunderstandings by providing the patient with basic medical knowledge so they can better describe their symptoms and ailments. You must make sure you are both on the same page when discussing illnesses and possible treatments. Don’t assume they know the terms you’re using or what it means for their health.
Ensure Everyone Has What They need
The best way to ensure safety in your healthcare facility is to give everyone—staff, visitors, or patients—what they need to protect themselves. This may mean offering protective footwear for guests, discussing medical terms and treatments with patients, or giving employees the proper training to handle whatever may come.