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Managing Risks To Make The Hospitals Safer For Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indian economy, employing millions of workers. Women represent a big portion of the healthcare force. Considering the patient -centric & human-driven nature of services, hospitals are not only unsafe for the patients but also for the people who are working therein. Healthcare delivery in any part of the world is associated with a wide range of occupational hazards. Healthcare professionals are equally vulnerable to work related risks as compared to employees of any other industries. Healthcare professionals are exposed to several risks i.e. hospital acquired infections, sharp injuries, radiation injuries, burns, ergonomic issues, chemical exposure, hospital accidents, stress etc. Amongst these, many of them are due to medical devices used in the hospitals. The severity of consequences may vary from negligible to catastrophic wherein an employee experiences a permanent harm or dies. Although it is possible to prevent or reduce healthcare workers’ exposure to these hazards, healthcare workers continue to experience injuries and illnesses in the workplaces. Cases of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses in healthcare workers are among the highest of any industry sector.

In spite of its very high incidences, the systematic study and research on healthcare occupational risks and prevention is still at the stage of infancy in India. The hospital accreditation drive (NABH & JCI) has played a key role in sensitizing hospitals about the risk management concept in the recent years. Moreover, the rapid rise in the incidence of occupational hazards, avoidable mishaps, sentinel events and litigations have also re-emphasised the importance of the comprehensive risk management in Indian hospitals.

The primary aim of this paper/presentation is to improve the current practices of identification, assessment, prevention & mitigation of adverse occupational events and associated risks in order to improve the overall staff safety in healthcare setting. It mentions various occupational (device related and unrelated) risks which has potential negative impact, along with a methodology to ascertain the likelihood (probability), severity of consequences (safety impact) and risk scoring of these risks. A decision-support qualitative risk matrix thus made can be used to anticipate and prevent/control various healthcare occupational risks and to improve the overall safety in the organization.

Major (Dr.) Sanjay Dalsania
Chief Quality Officer
Apollo Hospitals International Ltd, Ahmedabad

Dr. Sanjay Dalsania is Chief Quality Officer at Apollo Hospitals International Limited, Ahmedabad, a pioneer and one of the largest healthcare groups in Asia. He is responsible for planning, implementing & coordinating “Continuous Quality Improvement” program, assuring quality standards and NABH accreditation.

Before moving into corporate healthcare, Dr. Sanjay spent 05 years as Commissioned Officer with Indian Army Medical Corps (Ministry of Defence) and held many key medical & administrative positions at various military hospitals & field medical units.

Dr. Sanjay holds a MBBS degree from Sardar Patel University; Certificate in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta; Certificate in Advance Project Management from Project Management Institute (PMI), USA and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Services from Sikkim Manipal University. He is extensively trained in Accreditation & Healthcare Quality Systems, including Lean Six Sigma (Black Belt). He is on the panel of Apollo Group’s Clinical Quality Improvement & Audit Team for NABH & JCI accreditation. A keen academician, he is a part-time PhD scholar at Gujarat University and also serves as a visiting faculty at the Department of Hospital Management at BK School of Management, Ahmedabad.

Dr. Sanjay has attended many seminars and workshops pertaining to his field and has delivered many talks on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. He was also invited as a speaker at International Conference on Healthcare Waste Management, held in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2012, International Patient Safety Congress, held at Hyderabad in Oct 2013 & Annual Conference of American Society for Quality held at Ahmedabad in Nov 2014.

An adventure sports enthusiast, Dr. Sanjay is a qualified & trained mountaineer, skier and an ardent runner. He has keenly participated in a number of marathons, cyclothones and various mountaineering expeditions in India and abroad. Many military & civil accolades are in his credit.