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Making the rounds

Engineering and safety leaders perform weekly safety, maintenance audits at hospitals

Environment-of-care rounds at the Hallmark Health System hospitals combine preventive maintenance, safety inspections and staff coaching – all in the name of improved patient and staff safety.

A team of environmental services leaders spends a good part of every Friday afternoon making the rounds at either Melrose-Wakefield Hospital or Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford. “We take one floor each week,” said Hugh Kelleher, vice president of support and ancillary services. “We go into every room on that floor unless there is a patient who
can’t be disturbed, including offices and storage spaces.”

The goal is to identify and correct deficiencies – from damaged walls to broken TV remotes to unsecured oxygen tanks. “We look at everything,” said Justin Ferbert, system director of engineering and safety. “We look in the supply storage area to make sure there are no expired products. We check fire extinguishers and emergency doors. We look for dents in
walls, coffee stains on floors and wobbly chair legs.” Work order forms are placed on the spot. “Our goal is to get these things taken care of within three to five days,” said Ferbert, “so they don’t become safety hazards.”

The rounds also include conversations with staff, not only to ask about any facilities issues they have observed but also to seize a teachable moment and review fire safety and other emergency protocols and ensure that staff are conversant with Joint Commission safety standards.

 

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