Establish a HCWMC with Strong Financial Support to Oversee Waste Management Standardization and Compliance
Best Practice (Good)
Establish a Health Care Waste Management Committee (HCWMC), consisting of members from key departments of the hospital, to oversee waste management policy creation, standardization and compliance. Ensure that the HCWMC has strong administration and financial support from the hospital so as to establish relevant training programs (includes the creation of informational materials, the creation of events promoting waste management activities, etc.), accurately monitor costs and enforce policy compliance through active monitoring of hospital employee performance.
Typical Practice (Bad)
Allow each department to oversee their own waste management practices and policies. It is each department's responsibility to ensure their employees understand and follow relevant safety precautions concerning the type of waste their department produces. Coordination between departments are unneeded, in such cases, as the healthcare waste produced by each department varies widely.
Healthcare waste includes all wastes generated or produced as a result of diagnosis, treatment or immunization of both human beings and animals as well as research or production of biologicals. This can include items such as syringes, empty bottles, Styrofoam packaging, etc. Establishing a Health Care Waste Management Committee (HCWMC), consisting of members from key departments of the hospital, not only allows the hospital to periodically train their employees in how to properly handle healthcare waste (includes training programs, informational materials, waste management activity promotional activities, etc.), but it also ensures that waste management policies (typically consists of reduction of incoming wastes, reusing products, recycling products, and segregation of waste) are standardized and enforced throughout the hospital. It is important to note that strong support from the hospital's administration (consists of funding, policy support, resource availability, etc.) is necessary to ensure policy compliance and violation resolution. While general wastes do not require special handling, the improper handling of hazardous and infectious wastes, may cause potential harm to health personnel, patients in health care establishments and even the general public.
Conduct Proactive Rounds to Improve Patient Experience and Employee Morale
Best Practice (Good)
Establish a "patient-centered care" policy throughout the hospital and ensure that both nurses and doctors conduct proactive rounds. Ensure that employees performing the proactive rounds (typically once every hour or two) employ a script that focuses on the patient's needs (typically consisting of questions focused on the 4 Ps: pain, position, potty and possessions). This focus not only keeps patient satisfaction and health high, but it also increases the morale of hospital employees and reduces the dependence on nurse call buttons, which are designed to be lifelines.
Typical Practice (Bad)
Ensure that patients are comfortable and all their needs are met upon entering the hospital's care. To keep customer satisfaction high, nurses and other hospital employees should not smother patients with attention. Instead, allow patients to notify nurses and other hospital employees when they are needed through the use of the nurse call button. Otherwise, nurses should wait for instructions from the patient's doctor. Such actions, furthermore, allows nurses and other hospital employees to complete other tasks, such as taking care of other patients.
Bed-ridden patients, if left to their own devices, not only run the risk of finding themselves in dangerous situations (i.e., increased falls, skin breakdowns, etc.), but they also increase the use of call bells for non-emergency needs. This strains the hospital's staff (typically nurses) ability to timely answer them which can further increase patient safety risks (e.g., if a patient at risk of falls decides not to wait for help getting to the restroom, etc.). Having hospital staff (typically nurses and doctors) perform proactive rounds (typically once every hour or two) ensures that patients not only don't feel abandoned, but also reduces the constant use of the nurse call button, which was designed to be a lifeline. Furthermore, employing a rounding program script, with questions focused on the 4 Ps (pain, position, potty and possessions) ensures that every need a patient might have is addressed in an efficient manner. Through a devotion to consistency, personal and focused interactions, hospitals are able to ensure high levels of patient satisfaction and safety, as well as increase employee job satisfaction and productivity.