Why aren’t we continuing to protect our healthcare workers?


Susan Salsbury BS, OTR/L, CDMS, CSPHP delivers a call to action to create a culture of safety

Recently, Susan Salsbury BS, OTR/L, CDMS, CSPHP gave an impassioned presentation about the dangers of healthcare worker injury and the need to create a culture of safety at hospitals. Using impactful survey data, government-reported statistics, and economic information, Salsbury made a convincing argument that the current practices regarding healthcare worker injury must change.

She stated, “When we learn something is unsafe, we change our clinical practice. For example, nurses no longer re-cap needles due to blood-borne pathogen exposure, we gown, glove, and mask when we enter rooms with respiratory exposure. We foam in and foam out every single time we enter and leave a patient room. Evidence-based practice has demonstrated that it’s inherently unsafe to manually move patients. The research is well documented in the literature.”

Salsbury argues that safe patient handling technologies should be valued and utilized like personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep both healthcare workers and their patients safe. In addition to the technology, priorities must change from management to the bedside to establish a culture of safety.

The benefits of a culture of safety

In her presentation, Salsbury lays out the potential benefits of creating a culture of safety for both patients and healthcare workers. She also points out the financial impact this culture can have on a health care organization.

The Journey to Zero program can help you protect healthcare workers

Building a culture of safety for healthcare workers starts by reducing injury risk. The goal of the Journey to Zero Program is to achieve zero harm for healthcare workers – which helps improve retention rates and outcomes and makes hospitals a safer place for everyone. To learn how you can take the first step on the Journey to Zero, visit stryker.com/JTZ.