Archive for: April, 2014

What are some of your top training tips?

By: April 24th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

The National Safety Council has designated June as National Safety Month, and we at HCPro are planning many things to celebrate you – the people who help make the healthcare workplace safer. That’s where we need your help.

I plan to start in Medical Environment Update by compiling some of the Top Training Strategies employed by clinics and labs across America. I know you’re busy people, and it’s often hard to spend a lot of time training. I’d like to give readers a list of some of the best ways to train their employees to be safer, even if they only have a few minutes to devote to it. What are your strategies and programs you’ve created?

Next – it’s almost summertime! It’s time to start thinking of ways to keep your staff and patients cool and safe during hot weather – and the warm weather brings with it its own unique safety issues as well. I’d like to hear about some of the things you do in your own facilities to keep safe and cool during the summer.

As always, I thank you for your readership and keeping the world safe out there!



Are you ready for National Nurses Week?

By: April 17th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

It is almost time to begin the celebrations for National Nurses Week, whose theme this year is “Nurses: Leading the Way.”

Each day during National Nurses Week, HCPro will be celebrating by offering exciting giveaways and special promotions. Keep an eye on your email for a chance to register to win!

Many managers and healthcare organizations enjoy rewarding nurses at this special time with a gift that treats, celebrates, or encourages their nursing staff. This year, consider the gift of professional development with a book from HCPro. Thank your staff with one of these nursing resources.

Provide professional support for nurses on the go

Quick-E Pro: Time Management: A Guide For Nurses

Debbie Buchwach, BSN, RN-BC

Give your staff the gift of less stress for National Nurses Week with these handy guides that are filled with real-world advice and designed to help nurses better manage their time, avoid burnout, and improve their work-life balance. Provide the coaching they need to develop and succeed with Quick-E! Pro Time Management: A Guide for Nurses. Click here for more information.

You might also be interested in:
Quick-E! Pro Scripting: A Guide for Nurses, which helps nurses communicate clearly and confidently with patients, physicians, and peers.

Quick-E! Pro: Evidence-Based Practice: A Guide for Nurses, which walks nurses through how to find evidence and critique literature and therefore make evidence-based practice a top priority for themselves and your organization.


CMS rule could hit the little guys where it hurts

By: April 15th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

I am a huge proponent of making improvements to any emergency plan, but when regulatory agencies such as CMS start proposing rules that might be impossible for the little guys to implement – I have to feel for them.

Under the new rule, proposed in December and just finishing with the public comment phase, CMS would require hospitals – and ASCs and smaller, hospital-based medical clinics that receive Medicare funding – to prove they can stay open and operational during major catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes and the like. The intent – and a good one – is to avoid mass disruption of medical services on a mass scale such as that experienced during disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and in New York City during Hurricane Sandy. And of course, compliance would be tied to reimbursement.

The problem is that, as it stands, it will be costly – the new rule would affect 68,000 hospitals and healthcare institutions nationwide and cost $225 million, most of that cost due to upgrades needed on HVAC systems, backup power redundancies, transportation and other life safety necessities that would be called upon to keep a hospital operating as unthinkable tragedy unfolded around it.

Hospitals will likely be the ones who bear the brunt of the cost of the upgrades, but where it will hit the little guys is a proposed requirement that would require all facilities to participate in a mock disaster drill in the community once a year, as well as conduct a facility tabletop exercise to show disaster readiness. If you’re a tiny ASC or medical clinic, that might be hard to do. In a tiny community, resources will be tied up in a crisis.

“Our resources would be closed because all our physicians would be at the hospital taking care of patients,” says Bruce Cunha, RN, MS, COHNS, manager of employee health safety, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI. Cunha is a safety officer for several ASCs in Wisconsin affiliated with St. Joseph’s Hospital, and as facility’s federally qualified to receive Medicare funds from CMS, he is very concerned about how a new rule would affect his clinics.“Some of the communities they are in don’t have drills very year, and some of them are five-person clinics,” he says. “I don’t know many communities that are going to look at a five-person clinic as part of their emergency plans.”

I’d urge all you little guys out there to watch what CMS does very closely, and I’d also like to know how this issue might affect your facility – good or bad. Always feel free to send me your thoughts at

Tactics to get employees to take OSHA seriously

By: April 7th, 2014 Email This Post Print This Post

One of the recurring complaints I get from folks in the clinic safety field is that it can be difficult to get employees to take OSHA seriously, especially when there are a lot of “old-timers” and newcomers in the industry who may have never experienced the wrath of an OSHA inspection. It’s such a problem that that we’ve devoted an entire story on the subject in the May issue of Medical Environment Update, and decided to give you some tips on how to get your employees to take safety seriously. I’d like to share with you some of the tips our experts came up with for you to use in your own facility:

 Make compliance fun – Most safety lapses are a function of a busy day combined with a lack of education: Jerry the maintenance guy, for example, probably meant to come back and remove the supply cart that he left in front of the exit door, but he got preoccupied to do something else and forgot. So it’s time to make compliance fun, and if you already hold staff trainings on a regular basis, you probably already do. Have a safety scavenger hunt, or start a new campaign that gets everyone involved.

Money talks – There is little that will get people to listen than talking about money. The reality is that a violation from OSHA translates to hefty fines that can hit you hard in the wallet – $7,000 to start, which can then quadruple if the violation is found again. That may seem trivial for bigger clinic system and hospitals, but when it comes time for raises, bonuses, and new equipment, you can’t have it when you are paying big fines. Plus, you could potentially be shut down for it.

Be Present – For some safety officials who work in large groups of medical clinics, it can be difficult to keep track of what everyone is doing. Being in the field and making an occasional appearance is the best way to make sure employees know that the boss is watching.

Keep good records – There will always be that employee that will tell you they didn’t know they were supposed to follow a certain rule, or wear certain protective gear, or that they didn’t receive certain training. If they ever call you out during a disciplinary action, it will be up to you to produce proof that they are wrong. That’s why it’s important to keep your training records up to date. It’s also what you will show an inspector to let them know that you are in compliance with OSHA regulations.

Don’t always be the nice guy – There comes a point where you have to step up to your employees and let them know that without compliance, there will be consequences, up to and including termination. A good example is the perennial debate around mandatory flu shots. Many hospitals and medical clinics have made it a requirement of employment that workers get vaccinated for patient safety. Bottom line: no compliance, no job.

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