With value-based payments now the norm, large chunks of your facility’s coffer are being controlled by patient outcomes, and what has more impact on patient outcomes than your clinical staff? According to the Joint Commission—nothing. TJC recently released the 2015 Q2, “Most Frequently Identified Root Causes of Sentinel Events,” and it’s no surprise that human factors are again the #1 cause of medical errors.1 That’s why, even if you have a competent workforce in place, you may need to do more to help them succeed.
Don’t delay any longer. Make use of all available resources, including quality credentialing, privileging and training, to avert the seven deadly sins of an under-managed workforce:
- Rushing – When staffing levels drop, those on duty feel compelled to do more. Understaffing can cause clinicians to rush from one patient to another, possibly ignoring even the most basic of safety precautions such as good hand hygiene. Bring up staffing levels or provide current staff with better tools to improve efficiency.
- Fatigue – Overworked staff are susceptible to fatigue which can lead to difficulty concentrating, lapses in memory, and slow reaction times—all of which can lead to disaster in a healthcare setting. Ensure you have proper staff to patient ratios and reasonable shift lengths for staff in high-intensity areas like the ICU.
- Distraction – Not having the right staffing skill mix can lead to rushed on-the-job training and an increase in the need for staff supervision.
- Complacency – Continuously repeated procedures can lead to a complacency that threatens a high reliability organization. Robust communication and customized training can help keep medical staff on their toes.
- Bias – Making sure everyone knows your facility’s policies and that they are uniformly applied are a most important part of the orientation process. It’s essential to onboard the right person, quickly, accurately, and objectively.
- Ignorance –Through a vigorous and customized credentialing program that includes primary sourcing, staff orientations, competency assessments, and peer reviews, your healthcare facility can build and retain a superior medical staff.
- Incompetency – Preventable medical errors are the third highest reason for deaths in the US—following only heart disease and cancer—claiming 400,000 lives each year.2 Filling knowledge gaps with convenient, on-demand training and competency assessments is the best way to assure a workforce is providing quality care.
Workforce management has the potential to impact every patient outcome and can directly affect quality patient care. It involves everything from work schedules to staffing levels to employee morale. In order to avoid the consequences of the 7 deadly sins, you need to have the right people with the right training providing patient care in your facility. Though medical staff should not carry the burden for safeguarding patients alone (we all play a role), they are on the front lines every day and deserve the best tools, training, and management support.
Contact us for information on the healthcare experience and learn how we can help you improve your quality patient outcomes. Though human error can never be completely eliminated, with , you will be able to ensure that errors are the exception and not the rule.