Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio
In the 1990s, this institution became one of the leaders in workplace safety. The chief executive officer and chairman of the Board of Trustees believed in transparency, sharing data, and long-term improvement especially as related to patient safety and care. Employee safety was integrated into the same program as patient safety, which provided for a much more efficient operation and reduced incidents of injury and illnesses to employees and patients. Each day a safety officer is designated for the day and there are two check-in meetings with representatives from all departments of the hospital to discuss problems of employee and patient safety. The top administrators established ambitious safety goals and everyone participated from physicians and surgeons to all levels of personnel. Outside consultation and information is always sought to try to further improve the practices and procedures of the hospital.
This hospital, which specializes in pediatrics, has special concerns about violent behavior by children. Existing medical problems may be compounded by severe psychological issues and the fact that children do not understand at a very young age the consequences of their actions. The hospital has implemented the use of Kevlar sleeves, which protects the arms, wrists, and palms against cuts, abrasions, and bruising, when working with patients. This has reduced the number of injuries to the staff and at one point the staff went over 200 days without a recorded injury. Sharps injuries due to children squirming have been reduced substantially by utilizing a parent to hold the child in a comfortable position while keeping him/her stable. Slings, lifts, and other equipment are in each of the patient rooms to help the staff prevent back injuries and other injuries.