Is your healthcare organisation as safe and high-quality as you think?

When it comes to staff welfare and resident care, a healthcare organisation should aim to maximise the things that go right and prevent, mitigate and minimise the things that don’t go as well.

Creating a safe, high quality healthcare organisation and service should always be your business’ priority. This will reflect the high levels of compassion and vigilance you have for both your staff and your residents.

Promoting safety and investing in reducing resident harm in your organisation is a moral imperative and can lead to better resident outcomes. For example, resident engagement in their care has been shown to reduce the burden of harm by up to 15%. It also makes financial sense because money is not unnecessarily spent on managing harm.

But what else can you do to make sure your healthcare organisation is as safe and high-quality as possible?

Care for your staff’s wellbeing

Do you want your residents to receive the best care available? The first step to driving safe, high-quality treatment is to look after the physical and mental health of your staff.

Colin Kirkpatrick from MPS Partnerships, experts in medical malpractice insurance policies, said: “The healthcare industry is a demanding sector, which – in the long run – can take its toll on the wellbeing of those involved in it.

“So, it’s important that, as the owner of a healthcare business or clinic, you promote a work culture and environment where all members of staff keep an eye out for each other.

“In fact, once clinicians are supported, they can truly start to concentrate on assisting and offering excellent care to residents.

“Creating a supportive environment that encourages communication will allow staff to share their concerns with confidence and seek guidance when challenging situations arise. In turn, with the right kind of help, your professionals can restore their emotional well-being and focus better on the needs of their residents.”

Furthermore, it is crucial to establish policies that support and promote a healthy work-life balance. Providing your staff with flexible scheduling, offering them rest periods throughout the working day, and encouraging self-care can work wonders on their overall well-being.

Remember that medical professionals who are given the chance to nurture their mental health are likely to be better equipped to help their residents.

Interventions need not be anything high tech. For example, ‘walking meetings’ not only get the business done – providing there is no breach of resident data – but provide an opportunity to spend time outdoors which can have positive effects on the brain, boosting mood and improving concentration.

Provide training and education for both staff and residents

The continuous professional development of staff is important to promoting and maintaining resident safety.

When it comes to your staff, it is essential that they are allowed the time to keep up to date on the latest practices, emergency procedures, and workplace policies.

Resident education is also key to promoting good clinical outcomes. As a healthcare organisation, promoting adequate consultation time so staff can explain things to residents properly as well as providing educational material like websites and leaflets can all empower residents to look after themselves.

Set up monitoring systems to assess safety measures

Every organisation should establish a system for the recognition, reporting, investigation and learning from safety incidents. Resident Safety Incident Response Frameworks are established in the NHS with the aim to learn and improve resident safety – which in turn can translate into high-quality healthcare.

Equally important is the concept of compassionate leadership. Part of this is getting feedback for your staff and residents. This engagement not only demonstrates the importance leaders place on their views but also holds leadership to account to consider and take steps to action issues raised with them where resident safety may be being negatively impacted.

In summary, resident safety and high-quality healthcare is a priority for all healthcare organisations. A multi-faceted approach is needed to deliver on this agenda.