Healthcare Courses & Workshops

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Safe Patient Handling Programs – What is the State-of-the-art? (2 hours)

In most acute care health care facilities, injuries related to lifting, handling and transferring of patients are some of the most commonly reported injuries.  These injuries cost the health care system millions of dollars each and every year, cause pain and suffering for thousands of health care providers, and reduce the comfort and safety of patients.

This session provides an introduction to the state-of-the-art safe patient handling programs, presenting the latest in safe patient handling research and how this information can and should be put into practice to ensure the health, well-being and safety of both the health care provider and the patient.

Safe Patient Handling Program Design (1 day)

Implementing new processes and procedures is often difficult for a wide range of reasons. Some may feel that the status-quo is good enough.  Many people resist any type of change because it creates uncertainty.  And, there is often a concern that new approaches will increase the workload for supervisors / workers and increase costs. This one day workshop is designed to provide participants with a process for implementing new processes and programs in their facilities. And while the general principles covered are appropriate for any type of program implementation, the focus of this session will be on implementing / enhancing a safe patient handling program. The workshop will cover issues such as:

  • Identifying and overcoming barriers to the successful program implementation
  • Developing strategies for involving management, union, supervisors and employees
  • Cost justifying new programs
  • Communicating cost benefit data to appropriate decision makers
  • Developing tools for tracking and monitoring program effectiveness
  • Developing methods for maintaining and enhancing the program
  • Legislated requirements for safe patient handling programs

This workshop has been designed for individuals who are responsible for developing, monitoring and maintaining a safe patient handling program within an acute care hospital.

Patient Assessment for Safe Patient Handling (1/2 day)

This workshop is designed to teach managers and staff how to use a structured and repeatable process for evaluating and documenting a patient’s strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and needs. Participants learn how to use this information to determine the best method(s) for moving / transferring / lifting the patient.  When used as part of a well-designed patient handling program, the patient assessment process helps to ensure the safety of both the patient and staff, and helps to maximize the patient’s involvement as they are moved and transferred. The workshop also discusses the importance of good communication between health care providers so as to reduce the likelihood of handling related injuries.

Note:  Those responsible for completing patient assessments should be provided with refresher training on a yearly basis. This refresher training provides an opportunity to practice the assessment process, receive feedback, discuss complex situations and identify opportunities for improvement, both in an individuals use of the assessment process and in the process itself.

Handling and Transferring of Bariatric Patients (1/2 day)

It is a fact that acute care hospitals are seeing more and more bariatric patients. These patients create unique challenges for health care providers, especially when it comes to moving, transferring, repositioning, and lifting them.  This session addresses the issues and hazards that exist when handling and transferring bariatric patients. Participants will learn how to enhance their safe patient handling programs to include bariatric patients. They will also learn how to use special techniques to reposition bariatric patients, how to evaluate the design of patient handling equipment, slings, and support devices to determine if they can and should be used with specific bariatric patients. Finally, issues related to team-based handling, communication, and design for bariatric patients will be discussed.

Ergonomics in the Design of Acute Care Facilities (2 days)

This intensive, two-day work shop is designed for facility mangers, administrators, health and safety professionals, designers, contract administrators, architects, and anyone else who is interested in ensuring that acute care facilities are designed to reduce the risk of injury, increase job efficiency and satisfaction, enhance service delivery and improve patient safety. The workshop will cover a wide-range of topics including basic ergonomic design principles, facility design related hazards, designing for patients and their families, designing to reduce worker stress, design to reduce workplace violence, workflow analysis, the latest information on workstation and treatment / patient room design and why current ‘standards’ are not acceptable, wayfinding and signage, etc.  The workshop will expose the participants to a participative approach to identifying user needs and expectations and using these to establish minimum design requirements / specifications. Using group work and case studies, participants will see how and why this approach should be used whenever a health care facility is being designed or renovated.

Designing for Bariatric Patients (1 day)

This intensive, one-day work shop is designed for facility mangers, administrators, health and safety professionals, designers, contract administrators, architects, and anyone else who is interested in ensuring that health care facilities are designed to ensure that bariatric patients can be treated safely, effectively and with respect. The workshop will cover a topics including current issues related to design and bariatric patients, size and shape differences with bariatric patients, designing for bariatric patients (patient rooms, treatment areas, bathroom facilities, patient handling equipment, emergency departments, diagnostic areas, etc.), and  design / treatment considerations for bariatric patients.  Group activities and case studies will be used to reinforce the information presented.

Recognizing Hazards for Musculoskeletal Disorders in Hospital Support Services (1/2 day)

This session is designed for managers, supervisors, and hospital support service staff. Session participants will gain an enhanced understanding of the work-related hazards that are directly linked to the development of work-related strains and pain, otherwise known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). This session will focus recognizing MSD hazards related to house keeping, laundry, and food preparation and delivery services. Participants will be introduced to ESA’s MSD Hazard Identification Checklist, and provided an opportunity to use the checklist and interpret its findings. This will be followed by a discussion of a participative approach to reducing exposure to the identified MSD hazards. Participants are provided with ESA’s Recognizing MSD Hazards in Hospital Support Services booklet.

Musculoskeletal Disorders – Risk Assessment and Problem Solving for Hospital Support Services (2 days)

This workshop is designed for joint health and safety committee members, health and safety professionals, human resources professionals, workplace wellness coordinators, managers, supervisors, or anyone who is interested in preventing musculoskeletal disorders for hospital support service staff. The focus of the workshop will be the design and organization of hospital support services (house keeping, laundry, food preparation and delivery). At the end of the workshop, participants will have the knowledge, understanding and ability to identify the physical and organizational design factors and hazards that contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders. Participants will be introduced to ESA’s Musculoskeletal Disorders - Risk Assessment and Problem Solving Toolkit, that includes a series of checklists and risk assessment tools that can be used to recognize MSD hazards, assess the risk that is associated with exposure to these hazards, and implement effective solutions to the problems identified. Participants are provided with ESA’s Musculoskeletal Disorders – Risk Assessment and Problem Solving for Hospital Support Services Manual.

Preventing Medical Error through Design (4 days)

Medical errors are something that all health care professionals want to avoid. They can have drastic, if not fatal, consequences for patients, significantly affect the careers of those involved, negatively impact the reputation of the health care facility, and have significant direct and indirect costs.  Unfortunately, all too often, these errors can be directly traced back to the poor design of equipment, user interfaces, instruction manuals, etc.  This workshop will teach participants how to implement a process to identify and correct design flaws that increase the probability of error. It will focus on how factors such as organizational design, communication systems, work organization, etc. can increase the likelihood of error.  The nature of ‘error’ and the importance of detecting and correcting the inevitable and unavoidable errors will also be discussed.  At the end of this work shop, participants will have the knowledge and understanding required to implement a process to minimize the risk of medical error in their facility.