Occ Health Trending Made Simple
What’s the risk if you simply don’t have time for trending your staff’s occ health data? Hospital Occupational Health departments are notoriously overburdened with administrative workloads. Occupational Health RNs and staff are often frustrated by the lack of time they have to be on the hospital floor preventing workplace health and safety issues.
The two areas that inhibit them from doing their most effective work include:
- Too much time spent on paper records and required reporting (read our blog: The 5 Costs of Keeping Employee Paper Health Records)
- Lack of capable electronic medical records software to help them understand trends and proactively solve issues, particularly by job function (read our blog: How to Trend and Report Like a Pro)
The primary cause is the lack of intelligent, occupational health software, specifically designed to meet the needs of the occupational health team. Without this, data must be entered from paper records into some form of spreadsheet or electronic filing system like Microsoft Excel, Access, or an HR system.
To gain insight into staff health and safety, occupational health RNs and staff need to trend data. Excel, Access and most HR systems are not designed to do this easily, creating significant manual data entry and trending work. Thus, trending inevitably gets pushed down the priority list which causes hospitals to lose opportunities to understand and proactively address health and safety issues in the hospital.
The result is a risk to employee or patient health as well as a risk of violation fines.
Workers’ compensation claims are in the 6-to-7-figures range annually for hospitals. Having a simple and efficient way to trend employee health data enables occ health departments to focus on, and help reduce this immense expense.
The costs of healthcare organizations running afoul of OSHA regulations is real. Here are some examples of how healthcare organizations have paid the price of not having enough time to trend health events and act proactively:
The average OSHA fine for a Fit Test violation, which is also the 4th most frequently cited OSHA rule1
In October 2015, an OSHA inspector investigating a complaint at a hospital found an unusual number of needlestick injuries and bloodborne pathogen exposure incidents. The hospital was issued nine serious citations and $55,000 in fines for failing to provide employee training on the hazards of methylene chloride, monitor employees exposed to methylene chloride, immediately discard sharps in appropriate containers, and ensure that its bloodborne pathogen program included engineering controls to prevent needlesticks.2
A surgical center was fined $68,000 for a single needlestick violation. OSHA described problems with the facility’s post-exposure protocol: Failure to counsel an employee who endured a needlestick with a contaminated needle; Failure to test the employee’s blood in a timely manner; Failure to provide the appropriate medicine to prevent contracting a potential disease.3
Failing to review and update an exposure control plan annually is considered a serious violation. A citation of $4,900 was proposed for a medical provider that was a first-time offender of this violation.3
In August 2012, a health center reportedly did not protect its workers from tuberculosis. The health center was fined $17,600. Its infractions included: Failure to have a plan in place that promptly identifies, masks, and isolates patients with suspected tuberculosis; and Failure to provide workers who were exposed to suspected or known tuberculosis with training about tuberculosis and a respiratory protection program. The center was also cited for not having a hazard communication program and hazardous chemical training. 3
A nursing and rehabilitation center incurred penalties of $46,000 for:
- Lack of a confidential medical evaluation after a needlestick;
- Failure to maintain confidentiality of an employee’s medical record;
- Failure to provide the hepatitis B vaccination to employees;
- Failure to consider safer needle devices in the annual review of its exposure control plan3
Avoiding the Risks of OSHA fines through Trending
Following safety regulations isn’t just the right thing to do—it keeps employers on the right side of OSHA enforcement and saves money by avoiding fines, legal fees, and more. In the past, the inability to manage these issues properly was due to the lack of a robust solution available to understand the issues immediately and then take action.
Venato’s occ health software was specifically created with the occupational healthcare administrator in mind. It helps alleviate the burden associated with accurately reporting on and trending data so that administration can focus on being proactive. With Venato’s comprehensive occupational health management software solution, you can:
- Improve safety management by easily tracking and trending with a mouse click: health events (like needlesticks), tuberculosis, flu shots, other vaccinations, respirator fit tests, and more
- Significantly reduce the administrative burden of collating and analyzing enormous amounts of data from employees into roll-up reports
- View the overall compliance of each department and/or job code with all immunization requirements and of each specific immunization requirement (e.g., flu vs. Hep B)
- Reduce the chance of immunization lapses by having automated reminders sent to employees and copying department managers
- Simplify NHSN flu reporting with automated calculations
- Respond quickly and effortlessly to Joint Commission and internal audits
Check out a 30-minute webinar so we can show you how easy it is to trend the hospital staff data you already have with Venato. When you talk to our staff, be sure to ask about how the system pays for itself and our money-back satisfaction guarantee.