Leadership Corner: Workplace Safety Focus for 2018-2019 Program Year

Posted on January 10, 2019

The Leadership Corner features monthly updates from the MHA leadership team. The updates will provide new insights to patient safety and quality as well as information obtained from healthcare workshops and conferences across the country.

Adam Novak, MA, CPPS, director, safety initiatives, MHA Keystone Center, discusses how workplace safety is a focus area for the 2018-2019 program year and member organizations are encouraged to participate in a collaborative program to identify, develop and implement workplace safety risk-reduction strategies.

Adam NovakOn behalf of the MHA Keystone Center, we hope that you had a wonderful holiday and are returning to work refreshed and rejuvenated for another productive year! The start of a new year means looking to the future as much as it does reflecting on the past.  Major news headlines throughout the last year have captured the horror of hospital shootings; University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Mercy Hospital in Chicago, and Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles are but a few examples.

However, slips, trips, falls, sharps and back injuries are common sources of harm as well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of all reported hospital staff injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work are caused by improper lifting, bending or reaching. This can also put patients at risk, since falls, fractures, bruises and other skin injuries are more likely when staff overexert themselves.

In recognition of the importance of this issue, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Board of Trustees has designated workplace safety as a focus area for this program year, and the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) has also begun in-depth analyses of workplace safety-related data. Furthermore, the MHA is convening a workplace safety workgroup composed of MHA staff and external content experts to lay the blueprint for a comprehensive, collaborative program. Member organizations are encouraged to participate in this collaborative to identify, develop and implement workplace safety risk-reduction strategies.

The MHA asks that each organization complete the Michigan Workplace Safety Collaborative Assessment and attend a day-long kickoff meeting March 11 at VisTaTech Center, Livonia.The assessment is designed to gauge statewide interest in collaborative participation, in addition to collecting high-level baseline data. The kickoff meeting will bring together key stakeholders and will provide an overview of the four main workplace safety areas being addressed through the collaborative:

  1. Violence.
  2. Sharps injuries.
  3. Safe patient handling/musculoskeletal disorders.
  4. Slips, trips and falls.

Historically, MHA-member organizations have received national recognition for driving improvement of healthcare quality and safety through teamwork, collaboration, leadership and sheer resolve. We ask that you once again join us in a focused effort to tackle the ongoing, pervasive issue of workplace safety.

This article was featured in the MHA Keystone Center Newsletter. To subscribe, please contact Ashley Sandborn, MHA Keystone Center communications specialist.


  • Leadership Corner: Workplace Safety Focus for 2018-2019 Program Year

Tags: MHA Keystone Center, Leadership Corner, workplace safety, Adam Novak

Posted in: MHA Rounds, Patient Safety & Quality

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