The Covid-19 pandemic has pressed upon us the need to safeguard the health of our employees and patients. Over the next year, this will be the primordial concern of every healthcare organization. There are several components that will be put into place to ensure the health safety of employees and patients, from biosecurity measures to quarantine measures. There will also need to be a concerted effort on the part of healthcare administrators to support the mental health of their workers at all levels. Improvement in safety measures will occur as new innovations are developed both technologically and procedurally to reduce the risk of contagious illnesses.
Medical facilities dealt with unprecedented numbers of contagious patients during the pandemic, and some were forced to develop new safety procedures and practices on the fly. Now that the worst of the outbreak is over, healthcare administrators need to ensure that their facilities establish good policies surrounding biosecurity measures. Reviewing the practices used during the worst of the pandemic, with input from frontline workers, can help administrators to ensure what works best in their facilities. Safety precautions are only effective if they are faithfully practiced, so buy-in at the front-line level is crucial and can be achieved by involving them in the development process and stressing it is for their safety as much as the safety of their patients.
With contagious diseases such as COVID-19, quarantine protocols become critical. Many hospitals discovered their quarantine facility needs were not being met during the pandemic. Now is the time to review those needs and make the necessary adjustments within the facility to ensure future needs will be met. Addressing the quarantine protocol needs of some facilities may mean some significant financial investments in facility construction will have to occur, but the alternative could be even more costly.
The challenges that were faced by healthcare workers during the rapid spread of COVID-19 forced them to contend with clinical and non-clinical stressors. Those stressors included shortages of personal protective equipment, mortality and morbidity associated with the virus, fear of bringing the virus home to family members, and the loss of co-workers to the disease. All these stressors have had significant short-term and long-term effects on the mental health of medical workers. It is crucial that healthcare administrators develop plans to support the mental health of their staff at all levels.
Mitigating the dangers to healthcare workers and their patients will be a primary goal for all medical facilities this coming year. Genesis Medical Management encourages their clients to review everything that occurred in their facilities over the past year with an eye toward improving safety procedures. Preparation now will ensure readiness for future epidemics as well as build the trust of healthcare workers and patients.
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