A 2016 analysis published in BMJ revealed that medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. This includes process errors, planning errors, and failures to act. Martin Makary, a health policy expert at Johns Hopkins and an author of the analysis, explains that the “complex medical system” in the U.S. “sometimes lacks transparency that results in the wide variation in quality of medical care that is the endemic problem in safety.” Makary also notes that “safety nets are missing and standardization is lacking.”
At the heart of this standardization problem lies outdated technology and confusing systems. Many healthcare providers continue to use lagging systems that don’t efficiently collect or analyze data. Furthermore, a mix of legacy and new systems makes for potential conflicts that add to the confusion and fortify workplace silos. Without the sharing of information, organizations fail to see big-picture strategies and solutions that could help prevent medical errors and increase patient safety.
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The importance of establishing a near miss culture is clear. The OSHA and National Safety Council Alliance, a cooperative program, puts it this way: “History has shown repeatedly that most loss producing events (incidents), both serious and catastrophic, were preceded by warnings or near miss incidents. Recognizing and reporting near miss incidents can significantly improve worker safety and enhance an organization’s safety culture.” Effective near miss programs can prevent more serious incidents from occurring.
A previous post highlights some of the challenges surrounding this issue. Fear of reprisal or embarrassment, difficulty in the reporting process, and a sense of futility if reports don’t result in tangible changes. Each challenge presents obstacles when trying to establish a near miss culture.
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Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job, totaling 4,500,000 injuries per year. Astounding statistics. The worst part? Many of these injuries are preventable.
Loss reduction efforts and improvements in safe workplace behavior require the cooperation of everyone in an organization. When incidents and near misses aren’t reported, injuries occur that might have been prevented—at a significant cost to injured employees, their families and communities, and their employers. An effective approach to incident management encourages an expansion in the reporting of incidents and near misses by both workers and their supervisors.
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Workplace incidents are far more numerous and costly than most people realize. The National Safety Council estimates that the average cost of a medically consulted injury in 2015 was $31,000. The average cost of a fatality, $1 million. That year, on-the-job injuries numbered approximately 4.4 million. 4,190 on-the-job fatalities were reported.
In many cases, workplace incidents are also entirely preventable. As pointed out in the EHS Today article “Sustainable Safety Management: Incident Management as a Cornerstone for a Successful Safety Culture”, studies show that a significant number of workplace accidents occur “as the consequence of minor lapses, and usually of not just one lapse but the sequence of minor failures. A combination of minor lapses can create a safety gap that can lead to major accidents.”
An effective approach to incident management is one that encourages reporting of all workplace incidents. Risk managers and safety leaders can then draw from that information to identify, analyze, and correct hazards with the goal of preventing future occurrences. … read more
This is the second in a series of five brief articles on key data issues identified by several prominent risk managers at leading UK and European companies. In April, they participated in a roundtable on future-proofing management information (MI). The event was co-hosted by Gallagher Basset and Origami Risk.
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Risk Managers and Claims Adjusters know how important it is to collect detailed incident data. Many companies have unstructured collection methods, though, ranging from phone and e-mail to fax and paper. This can lead to inaccurate and inefficient incident data collection, causing challenges that might result in higher claims costs.
A modern RMIS enables clients to easily capture structured data in a manner that is understandable to the field and can include supporting documents and pictures. The key benefits of using a RMIS for incident collection are:
- Managing claims earlier
- Ability to analyze incidents
- Flexibility to change the data collected
All of these benefits can play a part in reducing workers comp litigation as employees can receive communication earlier and companies can better prevent injuries. … read more