United Heartland Provides Resources, Expertise to Assist Health Care and Long-term Care Customers in Keeping Employees Safe

doctors_staff_uh section guideIt’s no surprise that health care continues to be a growing job opportunity in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care occupations are projected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024. This translates to 2.9 million new jobs, making it the fastest growing sector.

However, more workers continue to be injured in the health care and social services industries than any other. In 2015, this segment had 158,410 days-away-from-work incidents, a slight decrease from the previous year but still 35,000 more than the next most prolific sector – retail, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of fractures for the health care group was 7.4 cases in the same period, up from 6.9 cases in 2014.

New SPHM Toolkit and Health Care Campaign Resources

This illustrates why United Heartland works to provide our health care and long-term care customers with the resources and information to make their workplaces safer via our Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness campaign. Recently, a team of United Heartland Loss Control representatives created a new toolkit that took a fresh look at the challenges of safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) and can help users develop or enhance an existing SPHM program. Resources include:

  • Transfer and mobility assessment
  • Mechanical lift and sling inspection
  • Skills competency
  • Family education
  • Accident investigation for SPHM incidents

The SPHM toolkit also includes a template program of best practices that is easily customizable for a customer’s specific needs. For more information about the toolkit, contact a United Heartland Loss Control representative.

Collaboration is Key to Safe Resident Transfer Success

United Heartland doesn’t just provide resources though. We collaborate with our customers to help develop programs that address their safety needs. For one of our long-term care customers, one of our loss control representatives recently met with the organization’s administrator to discuss their safe resident handling and mobility program. While no formal program was in place, the administrator was motivated to pursue a best practice program to see if it would meet their needs and enhance their employee and resident safety initiatives.

From 2014 to 2016, 26% of their losses were related to resident transfers and 50% were tied to resident assisting. Further discussions took place and the administrator committed to collaborate with us and implement a SPHM program based on our best practice guidelines. Some aspects of the program included:

  • Development of formal policy and program
  • Resident acuity and resident lift and equipment saturation audits
  • Resident transfer observations to determine current resident handling practices and gaps in training and/or the need to re-assess for SPHM compliance
  • Train the Trainer sessions on floor transfers and refreshers on gait belts and other equipment
  • All-staff training on policy and program.
  • All-employee policy commitment and signing along with a program roll-out.

While the rollout of the program continues, we are confident that this partnership will help the organization to establish safer resident transfer practices and keep their employees safer too. Find more information and resources about safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) and other safety concerns, such as health and wellness initiatives, behavior management programs and dementia, and bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases as part of our Health Care and Long-term Care Wellness Campaign. If you know of others at your organization who may be interested in receiving updates about our health and wellness campaign, encourage them to subscribe to our Risk Connection e-blasts here.