FRONTLINERS – SAFETY DOES MATTER!
- Posted by: Faizuddin
- Category: [email protected]
All Hospitals and Medical Centres that I’ve been working for the past 15 years (any other healthcare facilities as well of course!) do have complete policies and SOPs on safety. Precautionary plans are top-notch, each colour-coded emergency drill was done consistently as instructed and reflected the hospital’s readiness to face any unforeseen emergency conditions; from preps of cardiac arrest cases, missing of babies within the hospital premise, preparation of ER to receive multiple patients at one go due to a bus accident with full load of passengers up to the most current issue; Covid-19 pandemic. Establishment of written policies and SOPs was purely based on the experience of those who are directly involved in forming it up – Kudos to the team!
Covid-19 pandemic was originated from China in December 2019 and spread to Asia continent in early 2020 and the whole world by March/April this year. It got worst and nerve-wracking as total patients world census marked 55.6 million as at November 2020 with 1.3 million deaths. As it hits most countries of the world, Malaysia’s 3rd pandemic wave recorded the highest new daily cases (as this article was written) of 1,884 on 23rd November 2020.
No matter how good your safety policies and procedures are, if your personnel don’t have a ‘safety-first mindset’, your safety program won’t be as effective as it should be. Based on the observation on issues happened in most of healthcare settings, attitude of healthcare staff is the main stumbling block in making the safety exercise successful. Training and refresher sessions seemed less effective to the group of staff who felt that putting up mask during their working hours and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are less important compared to their breathing ease. ‘Another day in office’ syndrome is also another issue that the Hospital’s Infection Control team has to look into or maybe it might not only be a task by any particular department, it requires a holistic top-to-bottom approach in delivering the same agenda to all individuals, internal and external…360-degree without compromise.
A state-of-denial with the feeling that ‘it won’t be me’ MUST be thrown aside, far from ALL healthcare related community; as we won’t know each of the patient or hospital visitors background, travelling history nor contact possibility with any Covid-19 positive individuals.
So, what should we do now?
As preventive measures are all in place, the main agenda now is to execute in proper standards within the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s guidelines. Another series of refresher sessions involving each individual is a MUST with an explanation of possible FAQs such as symptoms, transmissions possibility, incubation period, vulnerable persons, unhealthy habits and etc.
All levels of communication channels should be widely accessible for all staff to interact effectively and to get genuine information relating to the issue. This could avoid any chances of miscommunication or misunderstanding that might lead to unsuccessful program implementation.
Each person in the organization has a role to play; from the top management to the janitors. Responsibilities and tasks of each MUST be clearly stated, communicated and understood. Every single person is accountable to all sorts of actions, be it at workplace or at home with the family.
Finally, stern disciplinary measures and actions as options to be taken in making sure all preventive plans are executed accordingly; it could be seen as a harsh action by everyone, but nothing really more matters than SAFETY!
KPJ Klang Specialist Hospital