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RISK MANAGEMENT

Model Policy: Medications error reporting

Why you need this policy:

Medications errors are among the medical issues for which medical practices must implement Quality Assurance (QA) standards, policies, and procedures. Although the objective is to prevent such errors, practices also must be prepared to respond effectively should they occur.

 

RISK MANAGEMENT

Model Policy: OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control

Why you need this policy:

All medical practices need infection control policies and procedures. And with regard to one particular form of infection—bloodborne pathogens that get into the bloodstream via puncture or piercing by contaminated needles or other medical sharps—QA measures must include a specific exposure control policy that meets the requirements of the federal workplace safety law called OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Act)—specifically, the regulation or “standard” dealing with bloodborne pathogens.

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Everybody needs a break from work

You understand the importance of keeping your staff productive and efficient. However, it’s also important to recognize the role that breaks play in achieving these goals. For both you and your staff, it’s tempting to continue powering through day after day without taking scheduled breaks and lunch periods. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of taking breaks and how you can encourage your staff to take them. Benefits of Taking Breaks Improved Productivity: Studies have shown that taking regular breaks can actually improve productivity. When we work for extended periods without taking a break, our focus and attention begin to wane, and we become more susceptible to distractions. By taking a break, we give our minds a chance to rest and recharge, making us more productive when we return to… . . . read more.

WORKPLACE SAFETY

10 tips for winter safety in your office parking lot

As extreme winter conditions continue in many parts of the country, remember to have your office parking lot maintained for the safety of your employees and patients. Here are some tips for promoting safety in your office parking lot this winter and being better prepared for future winters: Clear the parking lot of snow and ice regularly to improve traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. This may involve hiring a contractor or having staff members take turns clearing the lot. Mark slippery areas with caution signs or cones to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards. Install snow fences or berms around the perimeter of the parking lot to help prevent snow drifts from blocking entrances and exits. Stock up on supplies such as sand, salt, and… . . . read more.

FEDERAL PRIVACY LAW

10 basic steps to comply with HIPAA

HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of individuals’ personal and medical information. HIPAA is important for medical offices because it sets standards for the protection and handling of this sensitive information, which is critical to maintaining the trust of patients and ensuring the confidentiality of their medical records. HIPAA requires medical offices to implement and maintain certain safeguards to protect PHI, including physical, technical, and administrative measures. These measures help to ensure that patient information is only accessed and used by authorized individuals, and that it is handled in a way that maintains its integrity and confidentiality. Non-compliance with HIPAA regulations can result in significant fines and legal consequences for medical offices, as well as damage to their reputation. Therefore,… . . . read more.

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Are there guns in your workplace?

By Lynne Curry If you think the national division over guns hasn’t hit your workplace, you haven’t been listening. Not only are the employees who advocate for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15, engaged in an active argument with those who argue for fewer restrictions on gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms—but some of your coworkers or employees may be packing. Does your employee handbook address whether your employer allows employees or non-employees to bring guns onto worksites? What about whether employees can keep guns in their cars or trucks? The concealed handgun permit statues in many states don’t address whether those legally permitted to own guns can bring them to work or carry them into others’ workplaces. Instead, it’s up to employers… . . . read more.

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Signs of potential disaster were present at Walmart—Are they at your workplace?

By Lynne Curry There were signs of potential disaster that later erupted in six deaths when Walmart supervisor Andre Bing shot and killed six coworkers in November. There always are. Four decades of investigating violent workplace incidents have convinced me of this. “I didn’t want to say anything,” someone always says, “but….” “That was just ‘Jon,’ but we all sort of knew it, and didn’t poke the bear.” “I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell anyone.” “I was too scared to say anything.” The Walmart investigation uncovered significant information detailing the genesis of the November disaster. Bing had written a note on his phone filled with complaints about coworkers, saying they mocked and harassed him. He named the coworkers he felt had antagonized or betrayed… . . . read more.

COMPLIANCE

What to do when an employee uses FMLA to cover drinking

By Lynne Curry Question: We suspect one of our employees of using intermittent FMLA leave to cover her abuse of alcohol. We see a clear pattern. She takes leave two to three Mondays a month. Prior to her requesting FMLA leave, she claimed occasional sick days on Mondays. Other employees have noticed her leaving early on Fridays as well. With this fact pattern and given the rumors now circulating, may we start asking her to bring doctor’s notes each week to justify her need for Monday leave? Answer: While a Monday absence pattern may indicate alcoholism, you can wind up in legal hot water if you ask for weekly doctor’s notes from an employee using intermittent Family Medical Leave. In a landmark case, Oak Harbor Freight Lines v. Antti, the… . . . read more.

TERMINATION

7 strategies for firing without backfiring

By Lynne Curry The final revenge of the difficult, fired employee. You’ve hesitated to fire him, you’ve given him chance after chance, but he’s not getting better. In fact, he’s getting worse, and so is the situation. You owe it to your other employees, who consider this employee toxic or carry his shirked workload burden, to bless this employee out the door. Unfortunately, you then make a critical mistake that results in a painful payout to this employee. If you want to fire without backfiring, you need to pay attention to: The doctrine of good faith and fair dealing; The guardrails of just cause, and Ask yourself 22 questions. If you’d like to fire an employee without backfire, you need to consider good faith and just cause, then ask yourself… . . . read more.

HIRING & FIRING

The dreaded “you’re fired” interview

By Lynne Curry You dread what you’re about to do. Even though your employee deserves to be fired, you hate firing anyone. You also fear the damage a fired employee can create with false wrongful termination allegations. If you’d to fire without backfiring and in a way that leaves the fired employee with dignity, here’s what you need to know. Do your job right Have you done your job? Have you clearly let your employee know your expectations; and given your employee the resources, training and support needed to do their job, along with corrective feedback, and chances to improve? If you’re not sure you have, check out the suggestions in “Pressing Reset” (chapter 7 of Managing for Accountability, https://bit.ly/3T3vww8/. If you’ve done your job, you’ve minimized the risk of… . . . read more.


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