Physicians take a Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. A high reliability organization promises to do the same while providing dependable service for the patients in which it serves. Safety should also be a concern for caregivers and providers, given the substantial number of injuries that occur in the healthcare workplace (Nash, 2019, p.253). An administrator can ensure that his or her facility is delivering on both fronts by putting policies into place. Policies communicate the importance of safety, to maintain a goal of zero harm and zero defects, and to establish a just culture that emphasizes transparency and learning without affixing blame (Nash, 2019, p.253). They can also promote a safety culture. This is simply educating your staff on ways in which they can protect one another and those they care for (Nash, 2019, p.253). Learning systems should be prevalent to measure patient harm and workforce injury, assess safety practices, and improve safety practices by learning from events that resulted in harm (Nash, 2019, p.253).
I have helped to develop new policies for the organization I work for out of necessity from the COVID-19 outbreak. Daily self-evaluations must be turned in to identify if a staff member has been infected or is possibly symptomatic. This has helped to prevent the spread to not only other team members, but patients and the care givers they encounter during home visits. Mask wearing policies were also written to enforce that all staff regardless of whether they are administrative or clinical be worn at all times at the office when present, and during encounters with patients and their loved ones.
We also held in person trainings 6 feet apart (masked) to teach clinical staff how to properly use N95s and other safety equipment. Fittings were performed at this time to ensure that we were doing our due diligence. By taking these precautions we have had very little staff infected with the virus despite seeing multiple COVID positive (+) patients in our area. Based upon this I would say we would be considered a high reliability organization.
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