December 2015
Swank Health: Your monthly news from Swank HealthCare

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In This Issue

Did You Know?

Getting the Most out of Annual Mandatory Training

What's Going On?

Read how Swank HealthCare helped an Illinois hospital minimize costs while positively impacting quality of care

Top List

Powerful reminders of why regular training is important for healthcare employees

Now Trending

Test your knowledge of workplace and patient safety

Recommended Readings

Recommended Courses*
  • Safety Storm Alpha 2016
  • Safety Storm Beta 2016
  • Safety Storm Gamma 2016

* All available January 1, 2016

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Did You Know?

Getting the Most out of Annual Mandatory Training

When was the last time you were tasked with extinguishing a fire or evacuating an area due to a fire in your facility? Hopefully, you haven’t been involved in either of these situations unless it was during a training or drill. However, fires and other hazardous situations do occur in healthcare facilities and when they do, staff must quickly put what they’ve learned during education and training into action. According to a 2012 report from the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 6,200 structure fires in or on health care properties per year.

A new cycle of annual, mandatory education and training will soon begin in organizations nationwide. Some common topics for healthcare facilities are: Fire Safety, Hazardous Materials, Bloodborne Pathogens, HIPAA, Electrical Safety, Infection Control, Back Safety, Patient Rights, Mandatory Reportable Incidents, a host of patient safety topics, and more.

It’s easy to understand why employees consider it a chore to complete the myriad of modules they’re assigned. Year after year they review the same information with only a few changes or updates, but it’s important to have regular training on these high risk topics that could serve to save a life or prevent serious harm to themselves, patients, visitors, co-workers, the public, and the organization. Although information covered in some topics, like Fire Safety for example, may never be needed by many employees, if or when a hazardous situation arises, they will need to be able to immediately recall the various emergency action steps necessary to keep themselves and others safe. Without regular training updates, those details could easily be forgotten. Organizations are required to provide regular, ongoing training on a variety of topics to comply with federal and state regulatory entities whose primary purpose is to ensure safety and prevent harm, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Joint Commission, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Creating a culture of safety begins with a well-trained workforce. Here are ways leaders can get the most out of annual training and make the process more meaningful for staff.

Set the Right Tone

No, you won’t receive any applause when you announce that it’s time to complete annual training again, but it might be met with less disapproval when you acknowledge the task, approach it with some enthusiasm, and set a positive example by being one of the first to complete it. When staff see your commitment, it sends the message that it’s important.

Set Reasonable Expectations

Let them know in advance what topics will be included, where to find the training, when it will be available, the length of time it will take, the deadline for completing it, and any other pertinent information. When staff know what to expect from the process, they’re able to anticipate, adjust, and accommodate.

Make it Relevant and Meaningful

When staff understand why mandatory training is important, they’re more likely to embrace it, take it seriously, and pay close attention. Use stories that are relevant to the topics. Make it meaningful by discussing ways training has led to positive outcomes or has prevented harm for staff and patients within your organization.

Double Your Staff's Rewards

It’s true that your staff wins when they use continuing education courses to learn more, but how about giving them a little extra incentive to complete their training? Contests, drawings and challenges can be a fun way to encourage training knowledge, so get creative. Hold a contest by unit or department to reward the first 20% that complete their training, offer the chance to win a hefty gift basket if training is completed by a specific date or create a contest asking staff to share a time when they used the information learned in annual training.

What's Going On?

Read How Clay County Hospital Increased Training and Decreased Costs

After attending the ICAHN Conference on November 11-12 in Springfield, IL, Swank HealthCare worked with Clay County Hospital (CCH) in Flora, IL, to develop a case study on their new LMS solution. The hospital is now able to offer continuing education to all staff for the first time and within the first year has obtained over 400 CE’s. Read how Swank HealthCare’s solution minimized costs while positively impacting CCH’s quality of care.

Want to highlight your hospital in our next case study? Contact your account manager and we’ll work with you to tell your story.

Top List

Here are some sobering statistics that serve as powerful reminders of why regular education and training on common topics are important for healthcare employees.

  1. Deaths in the workplace due to falls, slips, and trips increased 10% from 2013 to 2014. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  2. From 2009 to 2013, there were 49,375 complaints lodged with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights regarding HIPAA violations. Of those complaints, about 30% led to fines totaling $25,980,500. (Department of Health and Human Services, OCR)
  3. In FY 2014, there were 6,862 charges of sexual harassment filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  4. The CDC estimates that 157,500 surgical site infections occurred in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011. (CDC)
  5. The number of deaths associated with preventable harm to patients in hospitals is estimated at more than 400,000 per year, making medical errors the third leading cause of death in America. (Journal of Patient Safety)
  6. A 2010 study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities. (National Center on Elder Abuse)
  7. According to a 2012 Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert, opioids are one of the most frequently implicated drugs in adverse reactions. The alert listed a lack of knowledge about potency differences among opioids, improper prescribing and administration of multiple opioids and modalities of opioid administration, and inadequate monitoring of patients on opioids as causes. (The Joint Commission)
  8. In the U.S., approximately 250,000 central line-associated blood stream infections are estimated to occur each year with a death rate of 12 to 25%. (CDC)
  9. According to a 2011 report, catheter-associated urinary tract infections are the most common type of healthcare-associated infection reported to the National Healthcare Safety Network. Among UTIs acquired in the hospital, approximately 75% are associated with a urinary catheter. (CDC)
  10. Healthcare workers experience more nonfatal workplace violence than any other profession. In a 2014 survey, almost 80% of nurses reported being attacked on the job within the past year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Now Trending

Test your knowledge of workplace and patient safety by answering the following questions.

What is the maximum length of time required to complete Swank Healthcare’s Safety Storm for non-clinical employees?

A. 1 hour
B. 1.5 hours
C. 2 hours
D. 2.5 hours

According to OSHA, how many fires occur in U.S. workplaces every day?

A. 30
B. 50
C. 110
D. 200

Below are 4 of the ECRI Institute’s top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for 2015. Which was #1 on their list?

A. Alarm hazards: inadequate alarm configuration policies and practices
B. Managing patient violence
C. Inadequate reprocessing of endoscopes and surgical instruments
D. Inadequate patient handoffs related to patient transport

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B. 1.5 hours



D. 200



A. Alarm hazards: inadequate alarm configuration policies and practices