Improving healthcare safety through equipment adjustments

In a doctor's office, hospital, clinic or any other kind of healthcare facility, a patient's well-being is the top priority. However, caring for the medical staff in charge of handling daily operations is just as vital. Adjustments made to medical equipment used everyday can support healthcare professionals by promoting a safe work environment.

Dressing down
To prevent the spread of infectious disease or contaminating vulnerable patients, clinicians wear specially designed personal protective gear like paper gowns and latex gloves throughout their rounds. Though these items do much to stop transmission from occurring, how they're used factors into their efficacy. If precautions aren't recognized while removing this equipment, healthcare staff can put themselves and patients at serious risk. According to a study conducted by the William S. Middleton Veterans Hospital and Section of Infectious Disease at the University of Michigan, only 13 percent of hospital workers observed at five different hospitals removed their protective equipment in correct order, as well as doing so gently enough so as not to propel pathogens into the air.

Administrators seeking respite from this issue need only look to their own inventory. Purchasing gloves of varying sizes ensures every staff member is properly and comfortably equipped. Extra hazardous materials bins and signage in each room can also stop distracted healthcare professionals from accidentally bringing contagions out into an open hallway.

Saving lives can be as simple as putting on gloves - or rather, taking them off the right way.Saving lives can be as simple as putting on gloves – or rather, taking them off the right way.

Enhanced security
Unfortunately, microbes aren't the only threat to the safety of doctors and nurses. A survey published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing found that 76 percent of female nurses nationwide were verbally or physically assaulted by patients or visitors between 2013 and 2014. Luckily, an intelligent budget will focus on providing a facility with the proper security measures like guards, surveillance cameras and even panic buttons devoted specifically to saving staff from aggression.

Because of the sheer number of people treated daily and their square footage, hospitals in particular should consider also adding metal detectors to their entrances, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians. Additionally, the organization recommends facilities should also invest in bulletproof glass at all points of egress. No healthcare facility makes these decisions lightly, but making them now could save lives in the future should the worst occur.

Equipment and healthcare industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.