Safety plan manuals serve as a guide for home health care facilities. Like other types of health care, home health care has a priority to ensure safety for both the patient and the nurse or health care assistant. The safety plan manual provides information on policies and procedures and instructs workers on what to do and how to do it. The home health care safety plan manual protects against potential liability due to injuries and serves to inform workers of best practices and procedures.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Review current or past home health care safety manuals. This provides a good starting point. Select the parts of the manual that you want to keep for your next manual and highlight any procedures that it's missing. Reviewing previous safety manuals will give you an idea of what to include and what procedures are important. Make note of any procedures that have not worked as well in the past or note any areas that need revision.
Write an introduction for the manual. The introduction should highlight the purpose of the manual and emphasise the importance of safety in the home health care facility. Briefly outline what the manual will cover. Include basic information such as information about the company and the mission and goals of the company.
Include a table of contents so workers know where to go in the manual to find specific instructions and techniques for the safety plan. Include sections in the table of contents for topics such as "Health & Safety Procedures," "Risk Assessment Forms and Instructions," "Health & Safety Policies," "Codes of Practice," and "Employee Guides.
Instruct and explain how to use health equipment in a safe way. Provide step-by-step instructions of procedures and techniques employed in home health care tasks. For example, describe the techniques for using wheelchairs or administering medication, changing dressing and other home health care procedures.
Include basic safety procedures such as mandatory clothing. For example, some home health care workers may be required to wear gloves or masks during procedures. Many are required to wear smocks when attending patients.
Outline standard procedures for workers. For example, many home health care workers operate on a strict schedule so that they may attend to all of their patients during the day. Some facilities may require workers to keep a journal and take notes during their day and check in at certain times during the day.
Provide an emergency plan. Outline what an employee should do in the event of an emergency. This is an important step as some workers may not act well under stress. Having an emergency plan outlined in the safety manual ensures that workers take the right steps to correcting the situation. Provide contact numbers for emergency situations.
Provide a list of hazards for workers to consider when entering a patient's home. No two homes are the same. Elderly or infirm patients may forget or be unable to remove hazards from walkways or to turn off kitchen or electrical appliances. Providing a checklist of hazards for workers to look through for each stop will help maintain safety for both the patient and the worker.
Provide a list of materials and tools that worker should take with him on his day-to-day rounds. This includes gloves, masks, emergency kits and medical supplies.
Tips and warnings
- Make the safety plan manual accessible by posting it online.
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