SEP 2017

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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© GETTY IMAGES Intersection of Patient and Worker Safety OSHA requirements are often viewed as pertaining primarily to manufacturing facilities and construction sites, because these jobs are perceived as high risk. This changed for many in the healthcare fi eld when 2007-2009 statistics from OSHA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Institutes of Medicine revealed that healthcare workers experience some of the highest rates of nonfatal occupational illness and injury—exceeding those in the construction and manufacturing industries. So what can private practices and medspas learn from the larger healthcare facilities that are making workplace safety a priority? One, staff and patient safety cannot be separated. A 2012 monograph on "Improving Patient and Worker Safety" issued by the Joint Commission in con- junction with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Occupational Research Agenda (NOR A) Healthcare and Social Alliance Sector Council, identifi ed key areas where worker and patient safety intertwine. They include: lifting and transport of patients; poor lighting; slips and falls due to unsafe fl ooring surfaces; understaffi ng of facilities that leads to fatigue and poor practices; infection control; and workplace violence. In addition to training employees in correct lifting techniques and the use of technologies to help transport patients, the Joint Commission monograph offers proto- cols to address concerns such as: Slips and Falls. Use non-slip fl ooring, and keep all fl ooring surfaces dry and free of clutter. Needle pricks. Use sharps with engineered sharps in- jury protection; use blunt cannulas and suture needles to prevent needle sticks; and minimize hand trans- fers of surgical instruments. Infection prevention. Comply with CDC hand hygiene guidelines and CDC recommendations for infl uenza vac- cinations. Use correct personal protective equipment. Workplace Violence. Track patients with a history of disruptive behavior and train staff on how to respond. This may include: • Watching for warning signs and trusting one's gut feelings. • Using simple, direct commands to gain patient coop- eration. • Staying at least two arm lengths away from an agi- tated patient. • Being aware of where the exit is located and not al- lowing the patient to get between you and the door. • Asking bystanders to move away from the area. • Avoiding arguments or infl ammatory language. • Giving the patient a sense of control by offering choices (when appropriate). Creating a Culture of Safety Protecting the well-being of your employees and patients, and ensuring that your business is in compliance with OSHA standards requires a top-down as well as a bot- tom-up approach. "Owners and management should be visible supporters and promoters of safety," says Bianco. He recommends appointing an internal safety offi cer to ensure consistent adherence to safety requirements. Some of the duties of the safety offi cer, as outlined in the Joint Commission monograph include: • Conducting periodic hazard analyses • Examining data from OSHA Illness and Injury logs (Forms 300, 300A and 301), patient incident report- ing systems, and human resources (such as job satis- faction surveys, turnover and absenteeism) to identify patterns and trends. • Developing and improving non-punitive incident re- porting systems and encouraging reporting for safety incidents, hazards, errors and near misses. • Investigating worker and patient safety events, errors and near misses to understand and identify contribut- ing factors. "The best way to create a culture of safety is through SAFETY FIRST The threat of fi nes and penalties is just one of many reasons why it is in your best interest to develop and reinforce an environment of safety in your workplace. 52 SEPTEMBER 2017 | MedEsthetics

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