Medical Environment Update, January, 2018
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January 1, 2018
Editor's Note: Click the PDF button above for a full edition of the January 2018 edition of Medical Environment Update
By now, the advice has been loud and clear to safety folks and administrators of medical clinics: You should have a safety plan in place that addresses the possibility of an agitated patient in your facility, or, at worst, a violent intruder or active shooter.
Newly issued advisories about fire hazards in healthcare facilities by safety advocacy groups are placing new emphasis onto the importance of preventing fires in clinics.
Improperly reprocessed gastrointestinal scopes, subpar disinfection procedures, cybersecurity threats, and flaws in medicine administration systems will continue to threaten safety in U.S. healthcare facilities in 2018, and priority action should be taken to reduce the risk to patients. That’s the opinion of safety advocate ECRI Institute, which has released its annual Top 10 list of health technology hazards.
The well-established “Hierarchy of Controls” is a system used to eliminate or reduce hazards in the workplace. Regardless of whether you’ve heard the term, if you work in the laboratory, you’ve been an active participant in this system of safety. The purpose of the hierarchy is to protect employees who work in hazardous areas (like labs) by implementing multiple levels of precautions. If you pay attention to its order, however, you might be surprised by the different levels of protection you use every day.