This health policy is part of the many policies sanctioned by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA, 2012). The subsequent sections of this work will be derived from this policy.
In this Policy (Facility Management), it is required that the healthcare environment is kept functional, safe, effective, and supportive of patients, staff, and family members at all times. Safety in the hospital is said to be assured if there is a systematic program that not only determines priorities but also eliminates risks. To ensure that safety is upheld, the facility management policy involve major aspects such as safety management systems, fire safety, hazardous substance and dangerous goods, wastes and environmental management, medical equipment and supplies, emergency and disaster management, and security management.
Hospital Safety Management System (HSMS)
According to OSHA, safety and health management system are systematic, the proven approach employed by organizations and their workers who work together to not only find but also correct workplace hazards before illness or injuries occur. Some of the benefits of safety and health management system include fewer infections, injuries, and illnesses; reduced cost of worker claims/compensation; less absenteeism and increased productivity; enhanced reputation; and higher motivation of workers. The six core elements of a successful safety and health management system are management leadership, hazard identification and assessment, employee participation, hazard prevention and control, and education and training (OSHA, 2013). Under HSMS, there are hazardous waste management, fire safety, security, emergency plans, and any other risks managed in the hospital. The hospital safety management system is implemented by planning and budgeting necessary support as well as resources meant to improve safety in the facility. A Multidisciplinary Health and Safety committee are appointed. A one full-time trained officer is designated while policies need to be consistent with local as well as federal regulations. Staff including new staff are trained on safety issues.
Fire safety has been defined as a set of measures and practices aimed at minimizing destruction due to a fire outbreak. Health Safety Executive (HSE) asserted that most fires are preventable. It further stated that those responsible for the workplace and other buildings ought to take responsibility for adopting of the right procedures and behaviors. HSE further stated that employers or occupiers or owners of buildings need to carry out fire safety risk assessment. Based on the findings of the assessment, they need to ensure that there are adequate and appropriate measures for fire safety to minimize the risk of loss of life or injury in the event of a fire break out. To prevent workplace fire, the risk assessment should identify what is likely to cause fire outbreak, substances that burn, and also people who might be at risk (HSE, n.d.). A fire safety plan is developed as per the requirements provided by the Dubai Civil Defense Department which include early detection, extinguishing, confining, and rescue. The Proper way of alerting authorities is established and also understanding risks related to the location of the facility. Maintenance of fire safety equipment and associated tools and equipment. Training and rehearsing emergency situations.
Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods
A hazardous substance is a substance which can have a detrimental effect on health if one is exposed to the substance. They include poison, substances that cause eye or skin irritation, skin burns, and substances which can cause cancer. Many of the hazardous substances are also classified as dangerous goods. Dangerous goods have been described as substances or mixtures that, due to their acute toxicity, physical or chemical properties present an immediate hazard to the environment, people, and property. Such substances include corrosives, flammable liquids and gasses, explosives, chemically reactive substances, and highly toxic substances (Safe Work Australia, n.d.). Development of policies and procedures in the hospital regarding procurement, disposal, and management of dangerous goods as well as hazardous substances and that this is done in compliance with local regulations. Hazardous materials to be safe in well-ventilated and spacious place. Departments need to declare a list of dangerous goods as well as hazardous substances especially with information such as purpose, responsible person, and quantity permitted. Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be worn when handling hazardous substances or dangerous goods. All substances including hazardous substances to be clearly labeled and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to be provided to staff handling chemicals.
Waste and Environmental Management
According to the world Health Organization (WHO), 85% of the wastes generated in health-care facilities is non-hazardous. The remaining 15% of the waste comprise a material which is regarded as hazardous, and it can be toxic, infectious, or radioactive. Wastes in health-care facilities contain microorganisms which are potentially harmful and can infect the general public, health workers, and patients. The most common types of wastes in hospitals are an infectious waste, pathological waste, sharps, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, genotoxic wastes, radioactive wastes, and non-hazardous waste (WHO, 2015). Waste and environmental management are carried out in the hospital with the objective of promoting safe practice and safe environment. Hospital-wide environmental policy to be developed and implemented. This involves disposal of clinical waste as per the local regulations. The hospital waste management policy involve handling, transporting, storing, and disposal of various types of wastes which include clinical waste, anesthetic gasses, radioactive wastes, hazardous gasses, and chemotherapeutic waste. Waste management streams ought to be identified and waste materials to be stored and disposed of properly. Where necessary a contracted company needed to destroy all medical wastes. Trained domestic staff should uphold cleanliness throughout the hospital.
Security management in the hospital is geared towards promoting safe practice and safe environment. Specific personnel is assigned to security matters. Security personnel to be educated and well-trained and they are brief on security risks and responsibilities. Establishment of hospitals security policy with clear identification of the respective officers. Access to sensitive areas is highly restricted. Certain policies can be drafted and displayed which include safekeeping of the belongings, how to contact the office, and lost and found items. Major security skills need to be identified in the hospital.
Medical Equipment and Suppliers.
All the medical equipment and supplies need to be accurate, safe, and functional. All medical equipment shall be installed as per the manufacturers recommendation. All hospital equipment will be maintained, probably using Preventive Maintenance (PM) or any other maintenance procedure recommended by the manufacturer. Before being used, medical equipment will have to be tested. All equipment will need to be operated using manual for the equipment. Biomedical workshops and safety manual need to be enhanced. A written policy for tagging for medical equipment PM with the testing date as well as the due date, inventory number, removal from service, safety checks. For the purpose of removing equipment from services a written policy has to be maintained. Relevant personnel will have to be trained to operate medical equipment assigned to them as well hazards to it including new equipment, staff transfer, reoccurrence of misusing the staff, and newly recruited staff. The hospital also needs to maintain an inventory of all hospital equipment as well as their location.
Emergency and Disaster Management
A hospital-wide policy has been developed for managing emergencies as well as disaster and thus ensures business continuity. This involves the development of plants which help the hospital deal with external disasters and emergencies in the community. The major aspects of the plan include duties as well as responsibilities of various administrators including hospital leader, chief of units, and department heads. The plans for emergency and disasters must include names and contacts of staff to be called and also triage areas (triage action cards and locations). Furthermore, the plans specify the location of the control room and also the person to be notified in cases of likely emergencies who can facilitate response and evacuation are clearly displayed. To prepare for emergencies and disasters, the hospital will be conducting regular emergency drill/practice exercises. The practices not only include fire but also evacuation to test various aspects such as timely response off staff when an emergency call is made, the efficiency of the communication system, performance of the staff, and time is taken to rescue the patients. In the event an external disaster occurs, the hospital administration will facilitate the availability of the needed equipment and supplies. Besides dealing with external disasters, the hospital also has plans for dealing with emergencies arising out of internal disasters. In the plan, there is a list of all names of staff to be involved, their action cards, and also their contacts. The plan also specifies the location of the control room and the person in charge. There is a procedure to be followed when relocating patients. Further, the plan specifies the duties and responsibilities of key hospital administrators including chiefs of various units, the departmental heads, and the hospital leader. In the hospital, evacuation maps are prominently displayed and strategically located. The evacuation maps will show the exact location of the place (you are here), fire extinguishers, fire hose reels, fire blankets, escape routes, assembly points, fire exits, and call points pull station/break glass. In the event external service providers respond, they will have to work in line with hospital requirements. Staff will also undergo training in various aspects such as fire and evacuation. Periodically, an authorized external provider is mandated to conduct full fire inspection in line with applicable legislation.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA). (2012). Hospital Regulation. Retrieved from: https://www.dha.gov.ae/Documents/Regulations/Hospital%20Regulation.pdf
Health and Safety Executive (HSE). (n.d.). Fire safety. Retrieved from: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/fire.htm
Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA). (2013). Safety and Health Management Systems: A Road Map for Hospitals. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/documents/2.4_SHMS_roadmap_508.pdf
Safe Work Australia. (n.d.). Hazardous substances and dangerous goods. Retrieved from: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/hazardouschemicals/dangerous-goods/pages/hazardous-substances
World Health Organization (WHO). (2015). Health-care waste. Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs253/en/
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