Four unexpected healthcare hazards that put your patients at risk

August 29, 2014

A report explained four unexpected healthcare hazards that may be putting your patients at risk.

A report from Fierce Healthcare explained four unexpected healthcare hazards that may be putting your patients at risk.

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1. Physician stress and fatigue. Are you getting enough rest? Are you working too many hours? According to the report, primary care physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers may be overworked, stressed, and fatigued, and it is may have a negative impact on the care they provide.

The author cites a report from Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory, which found that fatigue contributed 88.5 percent of medication errors and mistakes related to a procedure, treatment, or test.

2. Drug abuse by healthcare workers.Fierce Healthcare says more than 100,000 healthcare workers abuse or are addicted to prescription drugs, but many don’t seek help for their addiction.

3. Healthcare workers’ clothing. According to the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, jewelry, long sleeves, watches, and ties can all harbor bacteria. New York legislators even proposed prohibiting doctors from wearing ties or long sleeved-shirts while on the job in hopes of cutting down on the spread of dangerous bacteria.

4. Handshakes and elevators. Do you normally greet your patients with a handshake? You may want to update your greeting to a fist bump after one study found handshakes were four times more likely to spread bacteria.

Another threat? Elevator buttons in hospitals have higher concentrations of bacteria than a toilet surface, according to a study published in Open Medicine.

Want to keep both you and your patients safe? Wash your hands regularly and keep hand sanitizer in your office. 

 

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