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Standards of Performance Examples for Healthcare: Safety Awareness and Sense of Ownership

This blog post continues our series of HealthStream Coaching's patient experience best practices. Every week we share information from our coaches that demonstrates their expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions they have identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Standards of Performance can be used in numerous ways to help select applicants who are well suited to the healthcare organization’s culture. As we look at best practices for using healthcare standards of performance, we will share some specific examples. This week we examine standards for safety awareness and sense of ownership.

Safety Awareness

Report all accidents or incidents promptly.

Correct or report any safety hazard you see.

Use protective clothing, gear and procedures when appropriate.

Safety is an integral part of the healthcare environment, incorporated into virtually everything we do. We are educated about its necessity, instructed on how to maintain safety, responsible for it and monitored by government agencies to ensure we are in compliance. Our organization must be 100 percent committed to providing a safe workplace for all employees, customers and visitors.

Our customers take safety for granted, as they should. After all, they have entrusted not only their health but also their wellbeing to us. Practicing safety means that we will always be watchful for potentially hazardous situations wherein the customer’s welfare might be compromised. In addition, we have to report all accidents and incidents promptly.

Accidents usually happen as a result of actions and attitudes that can be eliminated. First, we never take unnecessary chances. We are familiar with and observe policies and procedures relating to safety issues, both hospital-wide and in our department. We practice safety as a courtesy to co-workers, our patients and all other customers.

Healthcare Performance StandardsOur personal safety is another aspect to consider. As clinicians, we protect our back when lifting, pushing, pulling or carrying, and we never fail to ask for help when necessary. We stay aware of potential chemical hazards. Machinery is inspected to ensure it is in good working order, and we use it in the proper manner. Lastly, we stay prepared for emergencies by knowing the correct and prompt actions to take.

Sense of Ownership

Take pride in this organization as if you own it. Accept the responsibilities of your job.

Adhere to policies and procedures. Live the values of this organization. Do the right thing.

In a high performing culture, every employee acts like an owner. What does this involve? First, we take pride in our organization because we have a stake in its future. Second, as owners we are also proud of the meaningful work we do because it is a direct reflection of the organization. It matters not what job we have because each and every person is capable of impacting the care we deliver through service excellence – everyone makes a difference by acting as an owner.

When we take ownership of our job, we commit to high performance in providing service and compassionate care; we have a vested interest in whether or not patients are satisfied and loyal. The vision and future of the organization become our own. We embrace the empowerment that allows us to make decisions and undertake the activity necessary to accomplish important goals.

Ownership also involves practicing teamwork for the good of all, and looking beyond assigned tasks in support of colleagues. We keep our work area and surrounding environment clean and safe. Doing the job right the first time is part of being an owner. Plus we never say, “It’s not my job.” If we personally are unable to meet a request, we have ownership of finding someone who can.

We provide care in a timely manner, meeting customers’ needs as soon as possible. Attention to details helps us exceed expectations. Finally, we always conduct ourselves as professionals and owners of our work environment.

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