There are many ways a person can get hurt at a hospital, from spraining a wrist to wrenching the back while lifting a patient. With the new medical technology being created each year, these safety hazards can be put in the past. Now, patient lifts, extra-hand items, and all-digital reporting systems are helping hospitals work more efficiently with fewer hazards.
Do You Need a Pair of Extra Hands?
Extra hands is the nickname given to items that prevent injury by holding or supporting items that would otherwise need to be held by nurses or patients. For example, an IV pole must be pushed down a hallway as a patient heads to the restroom, but with an IV clamp, the IV can be secured to a wheelchair instead, allowing a patient to quickly roll themselves to the restroom without having to drag the IV pole behind them.
Another exciting extra-hand device is one that holds medical devices during diagnoses. For instance, oxygen monitors no longer have to be held by nurses. Monitor clamps can be placed on patient's fingers to measure oxygen levels. This gives nurses freedom to fulfill other tasks.
Do You Need Help Lifting a Patient?
The number one risk to nurses is an injury caused by lifting a patient that is too heavy. In fact, even when lifting patients properly, the stress placed on a nurse's body is high, making him at a higher risk of injury due to back or neck strain. The repetitive motion wears down the joints and can lead to painful arthritis or other issues later in life.
To help with this workplace hazard, patient lifts are being installed in many hospital rooms. These lifts are designed to wrap around a patient as s/he lies on the bed, and then the lift picks them up and places them into a wheelchair or onto a bed for going to a surgery or other treatment.
The same machinery can be used when the patient returns to the room; s/he is simply strapped in an picked up before being placed into bed.
Do You Have Your Patient's Documents?
One of the risks to patients in a hospital is not having information given to each nurse or doctor correctly. A misplaced file or inaccurate recording could lead to a patient having a wrong-site surgery or other issue. Fortunately, with digital medical health systems, all information is merged into one core computer, so the same information is pulled up on every nurse or doctor's tablet or computer screen.
These are a few ways hospitals are addressing staff and patient safety. In the future, it's hoped that safety will continue to increase in these facilities.