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    Clinic safety: Incidents, medication, consent

    Staying safe goes far beyond shoveling the front sidewalk or locking up when you leave

    There is a very common misconception that abounds in most clinics regarding safety and who is responsible for clinic/patient safety. Staff often feels that clinic safety is a management problem—not their concern.

    While management may be responsible for a large part of physical clinic safety, it also falls squarely on technicians, and other staff members, to ensure that the clinic is running at a high level of safety for both staff and patients.

    There are a number of components to clinic/staff/patient safety:

    Let’s talk about some components to safety that we all should follow.

     

    Incident reports

    If something happens in the clinic that you did not expect, that’s an incident.

    Here’s an example. You are using the phoropter in a darkened room. You pull the phoropter over and place it in front of the patient. The phoropter falls off the arm stand and hits the patient in the nose before landing in his lap because the securing screw was not tight and the phoropter wiggled free from the arm.

    When an incident occurs, staffers need to calmly address the patient’s concerns due to the incident—make sure the patient is unhurt, etc. Then alert the clinic lead and/or the doctor to inform them of the incident. 

    This should then be filed with your practice’s office manager, human resources representative, or person responsible for clinic insurance claims. There is a chance the patient may seek outside medical care and submit a bill to your clinic.

    Follow the same procedure if a staff member or other employee is hurt while at work.

     

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