Survey finds major safety concerns among healthcare staff
Less than 30 per cent of US healthcare workers feel safe going to work, according to a new survey.
The national survey by Infrared Cameras Inc (ICI), manufacturers of thermal cameras and infrared systems, also found that almost 40 per cent of respondents think that their workplace is at risk for lawsuits due to lax safety measures. Nearly 20 per cent reported they would consider suing their own employer if they contracted Covid-19 due to inadequate safety measures on the job.
Gary Strahan, CEO at ICI, commented on the findings: "As the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing again nationally and around the world, healthcare facilities need to rethink safety measures to ensure they're doing everything they can to protect healthcare workers on the frontlines. Our survey found that, despite safety measures already in place, the majority of healthcare workers do not feel safe at work."
The survey also showed the following:
- Three-fourths of healthcare workers believe their organisations should implement additional safety measures
- The majority of respondents (89 per cent) think their workplace should require temperature screenings, with 71 per cent saying they would feel safer at work if this measure were to be implemented
- 80 per cent of respondents say that masks are required for all patients and visitors;
- 70 per cent reported that their workplace has hand sanitising stations at entrances and exits
- Less than half think that required masks for staff, patients and visitors are the most effective safety measure
In addition, some facilities have begun to alert employees when positive Covid-19 cases are identified in their buildings, however only 63 per cent of respondents listed that their workplaces take part in notifying them of confirmed cases. This process of informing employees and contact tracing can be crucial for organisations seeking to mitigate the risks and avoid lawsuits due to inadequate safety measures.
Strahan says that biorisk planning is quickly becoming the next phase of combatting Covid-19. "The biorisk surrounding Covid-19 is unlike anything we've faced in recent history, and the mismanagement of the risk can lead to disastrous lawsuits" he said.
"Requiring PPE simply isn't enough to properly mitigate biorisk threats. Healthcare facilities must adopt a comprehensive biorisk management plan, complete with additional safety measures including onsite temperature screenings to protect both employees and employers. ICI's biorisk platform provides organisations a solution to protect their workforce and, ultimately, their business."
2020 saw a rise in the use of thermal cameras as a way to detect Covid-19 infections. ICI has been developing infrared imaging technology since 1995.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.