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  • Vicious Cycle May Leave Healthcare Workers Unsafe

    On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm posted in Workers’ Compensation on Saturday, March 30, 2013.

    Healthcare workers in Colorado are familiar with the risks of their jobs. According to data, the healthcare industry has an illness and injury rate of 5.6 per 100 full-time workers. According to data, this is higher than the average rate for the entire private sector, a figure that falls at 4.2 per 100 full-time workers. This likely means that workers’ compensation claims are filed at a higher rate in the healthcare industry than in many others. Many who file workers’ compensation claims do so with the assistance of an attorney in order to make sure that they receive the best outcome.

    In order to alleviate the high rate of illness and injury in the healthcare industry, many people are suggesting that the sector make changes. One of the recommendations is that hospitals work on transparency and teamwork. Others suggest nurturing a culture of continuous learning so that workers regularly educate themselves on best practices. Experts believe that such changes would not only increase the safety of workers but also the quality of care that patients receive.

    According to some experts, healthcare workers are not only exposed to high rates of injury and illness — they are also exposed to an increased amount of disrespect. Some think that this is caused by the demands that the industry places on its workers. Many hospitals work to be as lean as possible, striving for efficiency and low overhead costs. This often forces healthcare workers to provide as much care as possible for little pay, potentially causing them to cut corners. Experts believe that this undermines the potential for an intimate relationship between caregivers and patients, leading to disrespectful behaviors from patients.

    Mixing little pay with lots of work and any amount of disrespect is likely to create a dissatisfied worker. Dissatisfied workers are less likely to care about safety and quality of care, thus perpetuating the cycle that the healthcare industry is currently on: one of unsafe work conditions and disrespectful patients.

    Source: Fierce Healthcare, “Hospital workplace safety means better patient care,” Alicia Caramenico, March 19, 2013