May 17, 2020

3 areas of focus to consider before undergoing a hospital inspection

Hospital Safety
3 min
There are many facets to the inspection process and not passing inspection in a certain category could lower your hospital's overall score.
If you run a hospital, then you already know how important it is to make sure everything is clean and up to code.

Missing the mark when it comes to hea...

If you run a hospital, then you already know how important it is to make sure everything is clean and up to code.

Missing the mark when it comes to health care inspections could result in heavy fines or closing down your facility altogether.

Although the United States has some of the cleanest, most efficient medical facilities in the world, some hospitals simply don't pass inspection and this is for a number of reasons.

RELATED TOPIC: Is your company promoting employee wellness?

There are many facets to the inspection process and not passing inspection in a certain category could lower your hospital's overall score.

For example, Consumer Reports recently performed a study on safety ratings in hospitals across the country.

The study found that the highest scoring medical facilities in the country still only received a safety rating of 70 to 75 points out of a possible 100. These include Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York and the Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles.

According to the same study, hospitals, especially those that aren't up to code, contribute to nearly 200,000 patient deaths each year in the United States.

Based on this information, it's more important than ever for your hospital to put safety and maintenance inspections first.

RELATED TOPIC: TOP 10: Tips to improve patient satisfaction

Infection control is a top priority

At the end of the day, health care is a business.

As the following article looks at, the question is, could maintenance inspections help build your business?

Yes, and it all starts with making infection control a top priority in your hospital. This is especially true considering a majority of violations are due to subpar infection maintenance practices.

To avoid infection control violations, it's important to make sure your hospital's infection control officer is up to speed on all safety procedures.

This includes following all cleaning policies and procedures as well as educating staffers on proper medical waste disposal and cleaning guidelines.

Inform key staff members

Health care inspectors don't just inspect the facilities, but the staff as well.

Making sure all doctors, nurses and workers are on the same page about safety goals and practices is a must for your hospital.

Your hospital staff should be fully aware of safety procedures within their department as well as surrounding departments.

When your hospital as a whole practices the same safety measures, it ensures a safe, efficient facility that is more likely to be up to code.

RELATED TOPIC: 4 tips to recruit the best hospital staff

Have a regulation protocol

Hospital regulations change all the time, which is why it's important to make sure all departments have the latest regulation protocol in hand. One of the best ways to do this is hold monthly meetings for the purpose of discussing updated regulations.

You can either schedule meetings by department or with all the department heads from your hospital at the same time. The latter is helpful considering many regulations overlap from one department to the next.

Additionally, you can schedule meetings more often than a monthly basis depending on how critical the regulation updates are.

By keeping in mind the pointers above, your hospital will get a clean bill of health during inspections.

About the author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including health care and business management

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Jul 22, 2021

COVID-19 "causing mass trauma among world’s nurses"

5 min
COVID-19 "causing mass trauma among world’s nurses"
Two nurses tell us about COVID-19, nurse burnout, and how to address it

Healthcare providers are facing ongoing nursing shortages, and hospitals are reporting high rates of staff turnover and burnout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June a report found that levels of burnout among staff in England had reached "emergency" levels

Registered nurses Molly Rindt and Erika Haywood are nurse mentors on US recruitment platform Incredible Health. In this joint Q&A they tell Healthcare Global about their own experiences of burnout and what can be done to tackle it. 

What does it mean to be suffering from burnout? 
Some of the most common reasons for nurse burnout include long work hours, sleep deprivation, a high-stress work environment, lack of support, and emotional strain from patient care. 

While every profession has its stressors, the nursing industry has some of the highest burnout rates. The massive influence on patients’ lives, the long hours, and many other factors put nurses at risk of severe burnout. And with the rise of COVID-19, many healthcare professionals feel the strain more than ever.

Burnout in nurses affects everyone — individual nurses suffer, patients are impacted, and employers struggle with enormous turnover. This is why it’s crucial for healthcare systems and management to watch for signs of nurse burnout and take steps to provide a healthier workplace. Employers should be careful to watch for burnout symptoms in their healthcare staff — and not ignore them. 

Symptoms include constant tiredness, constant anxiety related to work, emotional detachment and unexplained sickness. 

How widespread is this problem?     
Unfortunately, burnout affects approximately 38% of nurses per year and even the WHO recently labelled burnout as an official medical diagnosis. To put this statistic into perspective, nearly 4 out of 10 nurses will drive to work dreading their shift. Burnout is a reason nurses leave their positions. 

Other top reasons for leaving included a stressful work environment, lack of good management or leadership, inadequate staffing, and finding better pay or benefits elsewhere.

Even before the pandemic, demanding workloads and aspects of the work environment such as poor staffing ratios, lack of communication between physicians and nurses, and lack of organisational leadership were known to be associated with burnout in nurses. 

Have either of you experienced burnout? 
Rindt: I have experienced burnout as an RN. I was constantly fatigued,  never felt like I was off work, and would frequently dream I was still at work taking care of patients. In my particular situation, I needed to take a step back and restructure my work schedule to allow for more time off. After doing this, I was able to reduce burnout by deciding to work two shifts back-to-back and then have 2-3 days off.

Haywood: I definitely experienced constant anxiety related to work - so much so it would impact the days I wasn’t at work. At one point, I was even on medication to help combat the anxiety and stress I was facing on the job. 

I had heart palpitations, chest pain, and wouldn’t be able to sleep before working the next day, which slowly started to impact other aspects of my life. I knew I couldn’t continue to live this way, it wasn’t sustainable. Because of this, I began to focus on my needs and prioritising self-care, especially during the beginning of the pandemic. Putting my needs first and not feeling guilty were necessary for me to overcome burnout.

What impact is COVID-19 having on nurses' wellbeing? 
Some nurses have suffered devastating health consequences. Many nurses have dealt with excessive on-the-job stress, fears of becoming infected, and grief over seeing patients succumb to COVID-19 while isolated from their families.

New evidence gathered by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) suggests COVID-19 is causing mass trauma among the world’s nurses. The number of confirmed nurse deaths now exceeds 2,200, and with high levels of infections in the nursing workforce continuing, overstretched staff are experiencing increasing psychological distress in the face of ever-increasing workloads, continued abuse and protests by anti-vaccinators. 

However, other small silver linings that came from the pandemic include increased professional autonomy, leadership opportunities and career growth potential.

How much of the cause of burnout is due to the hospitals or healthcare providers, and what can they do to address it?

Nurse fatigue poses serious problems for healthcare organisations, and a recent survey from Kronos found 63% of nurses say their job has caused burnout. The survey also found that more than 4 out of 5 nurses think hospitals today are losing good staff because other employers offer a better work/life balance.

Nurse burnout  not only contributes to staff turnover, but it can impact the facility’s quality of care, patient satisfaction, and even medical outcomes. 

Strategies to address burnout include training improving  nurse-to-patient ratios, include nurses in policy discussions, and prioritise fostering a healthy work culture in hospitals. 

What does your role mentoring nurses on the Incredible Health platform involve?
Rindt: My role can vary based on the needs of the nurses. The nurses love knowing they have someone in their corner who can give interview preparation advice or provide suggestions on how to improve their resume. Knowing that there is someone who is well-versed in the job process and can help set expectations on what to anticipate, really helps to remove a layer of uncertainty.

Haywood: When screening nurses, it is customised to what their individual RN or nurse practitioner needs, and at a time that is most convenient for them. Nurses are busy and often aren’t thought of first. Being able to provide support from the very beginning of their career advancement journey helps tremendously.  We also provide resources such as resume templates and tips that can help nurses be successful and feel supported.

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