More than 8,000 nurses and healthcare workers in California are on a one-day strike this coming Monday due to PPE safety concerns.
Protest reasons include workers allegedly not being provided with enough personal protective equipment at the beginning of the pandemic.
In the UK, research shows the lack of personal protection equipment (PPE) inside care homes helped fuel the spread of Covid in May 2020.
Hannah Wilkinson, Head of People & Culture at Radar Healthcare says: ‘PPE, designed to protect workers from harmful substances such as infectious agents, was extremely crucial for preventing the transmission of infection between staff and patients at the start of the pandemic.
‘Due to the mass shortage of PPE at the start of the pandemic, controlling the virus was particularly difficult, in places such as hospitals and care homes. Therefore implementing the right processes to manage safety and healthcare procedures was vital at this time during the outbreak.
‘While having the correct PPE is important, wearing it correctly is even more important, ensuring it is covering the nose and mouth.
‘At the beginning of the pandemic, Thistle Healthcare Group, a family-owned business with 10 care homes and partner of Radar Healthcare, understood the importance of centrally managing staff safety.
‘As Covid became more and more out of control, they had to quickly review their processes and checks around infection control.
‘Like many care homes, they experienced a couple of Covid outbreaks. Therefore, they ensured all staff wore PPE correctly and social distancing was followed.
‘Other implemented measures included audits and checks such as hand washing and checking the temperatures of essential visitors to the service, as well as holding an outdoor visiting procedure.
‘In such difficult times and the challenge of ensuring measures and PPE were correctly in place, Thistle Healthcare Group changed its processes and procedures.
‘Implementing Radar Healthcare, they managed to send guidance or internal process changes to their staff as well as monitor who had or hadn’t read these notifications.
‘Using technology to standardise processes meant that Thistle could continually evaluate what they were doing and ensure that health and wellbeing, infection control practices, processes and procedures, and staffing arrangement and responsiveness were all present and correct.
‘As well as enforcing PPE guidelines, audit management is extremely important for improving their organisation, boosting work ethics and morals, encouraging communication, and reducing the number of hours healthcare workers spend completing admin in order for them to spend more time on the job at hand.
‘Thistle Healthcare reported that its healthcare workers have been able to save up to 80% of their time from using the risk management software offerings provided by Radar Healthcare, allowing them to focus on more important elements of their roles.
‘Poor organisational structures cause worker frustration and burnout, and this can sometimes lead to errors. Therefore having better stress management will further support employees and reduce turnover.
‘Staff are able to feel much safer and in control of patients by using the right technology to guide them, while also ensuring all measures and compliancy standards are met, and transmission rates remain as low as possible.’