April 07, 2010 | | Comments 0
Print This Post
Email This Post

Some risk assessment targets that you should aim at

Overall, risk assessments are really useful in two general instances:

  • When you have a risk that you cannot eliminate and you need help identifying the means of reducing that risk to the extent possible
  • When you have a risk for which there is no regulatory guidance or requirement and the “way” is not clear

With those thoughts in mind, there are plenty of situations that can benefit from a risk assessment, such as the following:

  • Installation of tamper-resistant electrical receptacles in areas in which pediatric or other higher risk patients are served. BTW, as a corollary to that, there are some pediatricians who have gone on the record as indicating that the little plastic outlet covers are no good because they are a choking hazard. This assessment could be extended into the behavioral health environment as well.
  • Locking or not of areas like soiled utility rooms (except in high-risk areas like behavioral health and pedi, I believe that locking soiled utility rooms increases the potential for blood and body fluids exposure when staff try and open the door while carrying waste, etc.).
  • Determining whether you can manage all your care locations with a single set of environment of care management plans or a single hazard vulnerability analysis.
  • Where you would need to install nurse calls in common or public areas.
  • Locking electrical panels.
  • Assessing infection control concerns like undersink storage, cardboard in clean areas, and covering the bottom shelves of wire racks.

One final thought: The EC FAQs on The Joint Commission’s Web site are full of risk assessment opportunities.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Environment of care


Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

RSSPost a Comment  |  Trackback URL