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Symposium coverage: Using near misses to your advantage

Marge McFarlane, owner of Superior Performance Consulting in Eau Claire, WI, is discussing environment of care education with attendees at the 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium in Las Vegas this morning.

A great opportunity for eduation is [more]

Two approaches—or maybe more?—to thwarting latex balloons

Allergic reactions to latex balloons can be a problem for affected staff members.

I’ve seen two general strategies for this particular risk management challenge: [more]

Swine flu cases grab the attention of emergency planners

Hi, it’s Scott Wallask. For those who haven’t bookmarked it yet, check out the CDC’s web page on the swine flu investigation, as it features the latest recommendations for healthcare facilities.

I was talking to an emergency planner at a Pittsburgh-area health system today about the swine flu situation, and he told me he is holding daily meetings with hospital and community reps from infection control, administration, physicians, corporate communications, human resources, county public health, the local school of public health, and others.

Five reasons to attend the Hospital Safety Center Symposium

Hello, it’s Scott Wallask logging in. There’s still time to make plans to attend the 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium May 14-15 in Las Vegas, and to nudge those of you on the fence, here are five great reasons to join us: [more]

Be ready to defend use of fire blankets in the OR

Fire blanket use in ORs is a topic that crosses my path occasionally. This is yet another one of those instances in which there is just enough information and opinion out there to get you in trouble during surveys if you are using fire blankets in the operating theater.

The ECRI Institute has strongly discouraged the use of fire blankets in the OR. If you check out “A clinician’s guide to surgical fires: how they occur, how to prevent them, how to put them out” at National Guideline Clearinghouse, which cites ECRI in its bibliography, it indicates the following: [more]

I’m talking blog at our Hospital Safety Center Symposium

Exhalation, exultation — we are but a mere two months away from HCPro’s 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium (it’s May 14-15 in Las Vegas), where I’ll be helming a session that focuses on, of all things, this very blog (which, in and of itself, considers all things).

My good friend and partner in rhyme, Scott Wallask, and I have been exhaustively reviewing posts from the past year or so that have generated more than a modicum of interest, either [more]

Getting clinicians to see the importance of unobstructed fire safety equipment

Having seen the latest statistics on life safety citations (our old friend EC.5.20 — now rolled into the 2009 life safety chapter — was the most cited standard in hospitals in the first half of 2008), it made me think of a discussion I had not all that long ago about fire protection devices and equipment on the floors.

There is a constant battle [more]

Do you know CMS’ stance on weapon use in healthcare?

It’s Scott Wallask filling in a bit for Steve Mac this week — as Mac put it to me,  “I”m up to my eyeballs in alligators this week.” Knowing Mac’s sense of humor, that comment could probably mean one of many things.

Moving on, one thing I’ve noticed is that security topics get a fair amount of hits on the blog, which prompted me to dig up this reference about CMS’s views on weapon use: [more]

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer abuse, courtesy of A&E

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask posting today. I was catching up on recorded episodes of A&E’s series, Intervention, which my wife and I like, when we saw a scene that really hit home from a hospital safety perspective. [more]

Safety education for LIPs doesn’t have to center on test scores

A safety officer at a healthcare system with 800 licensed independent practitioners (LIPs) asked me whether it was acceptable to The Joint Commission that instead of an annual safety test, physicians read material relative to risks in the environment and attest to their knowledge and by signing a form.

She specifically pointed to EC.03.01.01, which requires staff members and LIPs to be familiar with their roles in the EC.

First off, the language involved in establishing the expectations comes down to [more]