Changing hospital work practices — alert for construction workers

August 19, 2020
Business Affairs Risk Management
From the August 2020 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Some facilities may continue to require daily documenting of workers’ temperatures and filling out medical questionnaires before entrance into the healthcare facility. In addition, the general access to hospitals was already getting more restrictive in the last few years due to crime, but COVID-19 immediately closed the doors to random visitor entry.

Hospital Systems such as INTEGRIS Health cannot afford the time requirement to train every worker and vendor that enters the hospital on the new protocols as well as Infection Control Awareness so the logical choice was to find a solution to meet the needs. Since group training sessions which required assigned rooms and dedicated personnel were not allowed due to social distancing policies, online training did that. According to James DeHaven, CEM CHSP System Disaster and Recovery Specialist, “the training program for INTEGRIS was customized to the needs of the organization and testing was added to verify the workers understood the message”. This eliminated an inconsistent message delivered at different times by the facility or general contractors, and put record keeping in one convenient place — the cloud. Rather than waiting for the next training session to be offered, workers now can be trained 24/7 from any smart device.

Besides the benefit of a consistent and tailored message, the data center in the cloud tracks training dates for the annual renewal requirement and sends out reminders to participants and to the hospital if participants do not respond. All these tasks were previously required to be performed by hospital personnel. Now it all happens within the system without the hospital’s time. All of the compliance issues are addressed and maintained — hands free.

Thom Wellington
As the future evolves, some changes brought on by the COVID-19 virus will remain entrenched in how work takes place in healthcare settings. The infection preventionist who was once an unknown part of clinical quality deep inside the hospital is now front and center, and a necessary all-star leader. In the aftermath of the virus, the public now knows the role an infection preventionist plays in producing policy and protocols for patient safety. Outside vendors and contractors will also understand the role of the Infection Preventionist and must follow the new protocols established or these hospitals will remain under public scrutiny and will have a difficult time convincing patients to re-enter the facility for treatment.

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