Though hospitals and healthcare facilities are set aside to provide therapeutic care and as such are supposed to be safe, such environments include certain and potential dangers. In his “Hospital Risk Assessment” publication of 2011, writer Bill Moran identifies hazardous chemicals, radioactive material, chemotherapeutic drugs and infectious matter as some of the potential hazards that threaten safety in the hospital environment. He further explains this to be the reason why United States’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces rules to ensure protection against people’s exposure to such hazards(Moran 2011).
Research shows that healthcare environmental safety applies to not just the patients and hospital staff alone. Rather, the safety measures help protect the public too from physical and any other harm on a day-to-day basis as well as in the event of unusual occurrences. Moran (2011) identifies bioterrorism attacks, natural viral epidemics and accidents as some of the infrequent incidents that have serious impacts on healthcare environmental safety upon their occurrence. Any of these circumstances could result in overcrowding of the healthcare environment, panic or spread of disease.
Environmental safety measures are therefore crucial and should take a proactive approach – always prepared to take care of both unprecedented and day-to-day circumstances(Lundstrom et al. 2002). This is best achieved by implementing a system that provides the safest and best quality of care to the patients. A safe healthcare facility operates in compliance with both local and global standards of safety.
Lundstrom, T., Pugliese, G., Bartley, J., Cox, J., and Guither, C., 2002. Organizational and environmental factors that affect worker health and safety and patient outcomes. American journal of infection control, 30(2), pp.93-106. Moran, B., 2011. Hospital Risk Assessment: Environmental Health and Safety Compliance, and Physical Security Standards. Risk Assessment and Management. Available at: http://compliance.com/publications/hospital-risk-assessment-environmental-health-and-safety-compliance-and-physical-security-standards/