Healthcare Facilities Holiday Incidents: Prepare
5 Ways Your Facility can Prepare for and Reduce Holiday Incidents
Healthcare facilities, especially hospitals, see an increase in emergency cases over the holiday season. It is understood in the medical community that during the busy holiday season, for many reasons, there is an increase in emergency room visits, especially heart related conditions. For healthcare workers and hospital management, that means preplanning for the influx.
Verify Contact Information
During the holiday’s many staff go out of town, or take vacation days to spend with their loved ones, but most will be on call. Emergency room visits peak during Christmas and often turn into multiple day stays for observation and surgeries. Prior to the holiday season starting, verify the contact information for staff that you may need at the last minute. Without a working phone number, your facility may need to turn people away because of lack of manpower, or occupancy overload.
Test Emergency Notification Systems
The holiday’s tend to bring adverse weather to many parts of the U.S. and can cause blizzards, blocked roadways, and lengthy power outages. Plan accordingly and test your hospitals emergency notification system before the effects take place. Ensure that all staff receive the notification, and that you have a way to communicate with patients quickly.
Refresh Staff on Emergency Response Procedures
When an emergency takes place at your healthcare facility, or in the community, a response must begin. Establish that your staff are aware of the procedures that need to take place and their responsibilities if any emergency arises, including fires, power outages, shelter in place, etc. This can be easily done by holding a short refresher course in person, sending a reminder by email, or requiring staff to take a short refresher quiz to test their knowledge. If there are any new procedures, or amendments to procedures, train staff prior to the holidays.
Plan for Weather Related Incidents
Like previously stated, weather can bring undue burden for a healthcare facility in the winter season. Plan accordingly with your maintenance department and have plenty of salt available for melting icy stairs, ramps, and sidewalks. Also ensure that you have an ample supply of gasoline for backup generators.
Get Maintenance Up-to-Date
Maintenance is a critical aspect to your healthcare facilities daily operations. Get facility maintenance up-to-date by ensuring that filters are changed, vents are open and functioning properly, light bulbs are replaced, backup generators work, and that there is enough gas if needed. Also, remember to check that all smoke detectors and fire alarms are in working order and replace any batteries. Preplanning and checking these areas before an emergency, may be what prevents one.
The holiday season is a time of cheer and joy, but some emergency situations can turn that for the worst, even at a healthcare facility. Prepare your staff and hospital for holiday incidents including inclement weather, and patient influx with these 5 tips. How does your healthcare facility prepare for holiday incidents and mitigate problems?