Washington, D.C. – A new paper titled “Closing the Gap Between Health Care Worker and Patient Safety,” published in the American Journal of Medical Quality, explores the intersection between patient safety and the safety of hospital workers. Hospitals are among the most hazardous worksites of any industry in America, and patient harm from hospital errors and accidents has been ranked as the third leading cause of death. Coauthored by Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder and Vestagen Founder Ben Favret, the paper suggests opportunities for measuring and addressing situations where workers and patients are both at risk.
“Health care workers are subject to many on-the-job risks that can compromise their own safety, as well as the safety of the patients they are committed to serving,” Binder said. “We hope these findings help shine a light on this issue and that hospital leadership will take the steps necessary to protect their workers and patients from preventable harm.”
“Protecting health care professionals is the first step to protecting patients,” said Favret, “The good news is that hospitals can take action today to address these identified areas with solutions that are readily available, easy to implement, and can have an immediate impact on worker and patient safety. We are optimistic that our findings will stimulate positive action on the part of the health care providers we serve.”
The paper identified three areas in which patient safety is dependent on health care worker safety:
- safe patient handling
- vaccination for preventable disease (specifically influenza and hepatitis B)
- infectious disease exposure prevention
The paper was shaped from deliberations of the Leapfrog Partners Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Favret. Members included professionals from Nemours Children’s Hospital, Hospital Corporation of American, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, with the assistance of the International Safety Center.
To access the complete paper, visit: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1062860617703729