Key words:

Strategic; clinical standards; Work Health and Safety; crash; audits.

The strategic position that a clinic occupies is often unrecognised and undervalued by some non clinicians.

In an isolated or a dangerous workplace, the clinician and their clinic is the first and last stop in saving a life. Employers need to recognise that their non delegable duty of care extends to providing a set of clinical standards that are appropriate to their workplace.

A clinic that is well equipped, modern, brightly lit and pleasant to work in will allow you to attract, retain and motivate an excellent standard of clinician. A good clinic will also inspire your operational work team’s confidence during an extended and a technically difficult medical or trauma case.

It’s the type of call that you don’t want to have to make to head office.

The introduction of Work Health and Safety (WHS) guidelines ensures that suspect and hazardous work practices have generally been identified, contained or eliminated. The introduction of industry based compulsory and independently conducted work medicals together with drug and alcohol testing have all but eliminated potential or current employees with a significant risk of “crash” type mental or physical illnesses or life styles.

These illnesses may affect the safety, the well being and the confidence of others in the workplace especially if the unidentified ill worker is responsible for or is involved in high risk and hazardous work practices. Should they get injured, then the resultant treatment and retrieval process may well stretch the clinical levels of the attending medic; be lengthy and exacting in nature, result in an expensive exercise and attract the unwanted attention of regulators; insurers;  Customers and unions and can affect your LTI targets.

The clinic should be designed in conjunction with the patient’s needs.

The equipment must be easily accessible, be portable and all drugs and service schedules must be “in date.” The clinician must be up to date with all their practice certificates. They must be able to place the patient in a variety of positions that will address their condition. For example, a conscious heart attack patient will need to be able to sit up; an unconscious patient not guarding their own airway will need the recovery position and so on.

Not being able to access the patient to run a full set of observations; to secure an airway; to defibrillate and to intigate parental therapy is a recipe for disaster.

Having an external agency conduct your clinic’s audit makes good business sense. You need to trust your clinicians, but you also need to verify what they are doing as well.

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