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Protect your patients and your staff

March 12–18 is Patient Safety Awareness Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about patient safety among health professionals and the public. Health care administrators and professionals face many challenges every day as they strive to keep their patients safe. Equally important, but sometimes overlooked, is protecting the caregivers who work in stressful and sometimes physically demanding job environments.

Mike DeLaney, assistant vice president of Loss Control at Argent, a division of West Bend, recently wrote an article about the importance of implementing safe resident and patient handling programs in care facilities. As summarized here, the article outlines three simple steps for keeping patients safe, protecting caregivers, and reducing costs, after an initial investment in transfer equipment.

  1. Educate patients and their families on the functionality, use, and benefits of mechanical lifts. Include acceptance of the facility’s moving policy as a prerequisite for admission.
  2. Provide comprehensive patient handling training to all caregivers. Highlight the proper use and benefits of transfer equipment, as well as, the myths about “body mechanics.”
  3. Provide and make mandatory the use of proper transfer and moving equipment, such as mechanical lifts, lifting aide devices, friction reducing devices, slide boards, and bed systems that facilitate bed egress or repositioning. Conduct regular review and maintenance of all equipment to ensure it functions properly.

If you own or operate a care facility, West Bend can help you with your insurance needs. Argent specializes in providing Workers’ Compensation coverage to medical care facilities throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska. We work closely with agents and customers to develop safety plans to keep patients and caregivers safe, while keeping insurance costs down. To learn more, talk to a West Bend independent insurance agent.


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