Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, Florida

The hospital administration supported the development of an injury prevention program in 2000. A full-time physical therapist was hired to evaluate employee injuries and establish a hospital-wide program to prevent and control situations in which injuries occurred. The hospital established a two-person lift team and specialized equipment to lift and transfer patients. This has resulted in a substantial decrease in employee injuries especially among the nursing staff.

The lift teams resulted in a 65% decrease in patient handling injuries and a 90% reduction in lost workdays for employees, with considerable savings to the hospital. Part of their job is to continuously evaluate the equipment to make sure that it is maintained properly and the procedures being used. Team members are permitted to devise new techniques when there is a complex lifting situation.

Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Olympia, Washington

This department provides numerous services for hospitals and other healthcare situations, one of which is a proactive accident prevention program to reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and illnesses throughout the hospital. The program consists of the following:

  • • Prompt and thorough investigation of all incidents resulting in injuries and illnesses and determining how to prevent them from occurring in the future
  • • Continuous evaluation of injuries and healthcare-associated infections by reviewing all incident reports and prevention recommendations and sharing them with all personnel
  • • Continuous assessments of the potential for environmental problems contributing to injuries and healthcare-associated infections and risk assessments during daily rounds evaluating the care of patients
  • • An ergonomic assessment program to prevent repetitive injuries or illnesses to employees
  • • A return to work program for employees who have been injured and checks that the environmental problems have been corrected
  • • Provision of a fire and evacuation plan for the institution and testing it frequently
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