Rob Taylor, RN, BS, IP, was about halfway through his very first day on the job as the clinical director of the Constitution Surgery Center in Waterford, Conn., when he was suddenly called into the OR for something that wasn't listed on his admittedly mundane onboarding itinerary. "One of our surgical techs slipped on a wet spot on the floor and broke her hip and elbow," says Mr. Taylor. "It was not only my first day, it was the tech's third shift at our center." Hit the ground running was more than a figure of speech in Mr. Taylor's case.
After ensuring the injured tech received proper medical care and filling out a mountain of paperwork, Mr. Taylor and his OR team conducted a root cause analysis to find out what went wrong and, more importantly, what they could do to prevent something similar from happening again. "The initial analysis led to some immediate changes," says Mr. Taylor. "We noticed the mops we used left behind more fluid on the floor than we'd like, so we purchased different mop heads."
Of course, addressing slip and trip risks shouldn't wait until you're called to help an injured staff member. You need to spot — and address — potential problems before they become major incidents.