Mitigating Continuous Risk at Your Hospital
Fire Hazards, Compliance, Training, & Mass Disaster
Hospitals must take a different approach to mitigating continuous risk. Their approach must be continuous, on a cycle that has no end: continuous training, continuous drills, continuous dialogue, etc. Although there are many risks and many facets to each risk a hospital faces, some of the most popular are fire hazards, compliance, training, and mass disaster.
Of course we know the typical fire hazards for any facility like smoking and kitchen equipment, but in a healthcare setting, improper storage of flammable substances is a serious fire hazard. The best way to mitigate this risk is to properly store these items at all times, with no exception. Ducts and vents are also a fire hazard at hospitals, as is faulty and improperly used equipment. Training on all equipment is effective, and having staff check that equipment is working properly can reduce risk of fire.
Compliance is another risk that hospitals face. Without meeting compliance standards, hospitals lose their funding, reputation, and any accreditation they hold; therefore it is critical for them to stay up-to-date on their compliance requirements. Rapid Responder is a one-stop-shop preparedness system that helps hospitals and other healthcare facilities meet over 25 Joint Commission Standards. The key to compliance is keeping a consistent schedule and plan to meet compliance standards. Do not wait until a compliance check is scheduled to try and meet those needs.
Training is one of the simplest and most cost effective ways to mitigate risk at your hospital. Training is knowledge and knowledge is power, power over your safety and security concerns. Out-of-date training means an increased risk for injury, illness, and possible legal implications for staff, patients, and visitors. Training is a positive goal to make for your hospital to mitigate continuous risks such as slips, trips and falls, and illness and injury to staff.
Finally, one of the hardest risks to plan and prepare your hospital and staff for is mass disaster. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Whether in the form of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, active shooter scenarios, or chemical releases, mass disasters will happen. Planning early for a variety of situations is helpful and can reduce stress for your staff when responding to a mass casualty incident. Practicing drills with information learned from training is the best way to prepare doctors and nurses for the medical load they will have to take on when disaster strikes.
Don’t let the stress of managing and mitigating risk at your hospital overwhelm you. Take the tips we have given you this week and put them into action in your healthcare setting. Increase training and decrease fire hazards, when those things happen, compliance will become easier and mass disaster will be handled smoother.