EP - Exemplary Professional Practice

EP30EO:  Culture of Safety-Describe and demonstrate two (2) workplace safety improvements for nurses that resulted from the structure(s) and process(es) in EP30. 

Example concerning the sharps safety committee 

The Sharps Safety Evaluation Committee noticed a clustered increase in sharps injuries in the operating room in recent months.  Jessica Babich APN-C, RN, Chairperson of the committee notified Kelly Loo BSN, RN, CGRNA the Nurse Manager of the operating room and Vicki Ebanks MSN, RN, CNOR Nurse Educator for the operating room.  Ms. Loo and Ms. Ebanks began to strategize as to how to resolve this issue and determined that an educational program for the staff was necessary.  The program encompassed the following issues:

Elements of Educational Program for Operating Room Staff 

The class was given in January 19, 2012 entitled Sharps Safety in the Operating Room.  Ms. Ebanks conducted the educational session in conjunction with Ms. Babich. The session included the updated policy on Scalpel Safety in the Operating Room, which Ms. Ebanks revised.  The following determinations were made following the session:



The results following the last educational session in February are outlined below: 

Sharps Injuries in the Operating Room




Sharps Injuries in the Operating Room




 Example concerning Safe Patient Handling Program 

Ellen Brummer MS, RN, Employee Health Department Coordinator coordinates the entire Safe Patient Handling Program.  The organization has invested significant resources in the Safe Patient Handling process to insure that our nurses would be free from injury during the delivery of patient care.  We have provided many training programs for our nurses and patient care technicians on the use of the Safe Patient Handling devices.  The training programs are conducted by our consultant organization, Prevent, Inc.  The classes are primarily orchestrated by Debby Moore BSN, RN and Elizabeth McLean RN.  An educational module is provided to the staff as an adjunct to the training sessions.  The training sessions involve an annual orientation and return demonstration on the use of the equipment.  After each follow-up visit, an employee roster is updated with caregivers trained.  Competencies with the equipment are also validated.  This evaluation process includes hands-on demonstrations between the trainers and the caregivers.  Ms. Moore and Ms. McLean have provided over 75 educational sessions and trained over 713 employees.  These sessions also include the training of Super Users who function as resources on the individual units. 

The organization has also invested financially over $380,000.00 to provide ceiling lifts, walkers and other assistive devices to provide for the safety of our nursing staff.  See below for the number of staff trained:


The Safe Patient Handling Program was implemented on August 22, 2011.  We have managed to decrease injuries since then and subsequently are beginning to realize some cost savings resulting from less time lost from work.  Review the injuries by Department and the related costs required to replace lost time from work.  Between 2010 and 2011, the organization already has seen significant savings related to lower and less severe work related injuries ($11,385.00). 

Injuries by Department and Days Lost from Work (Includes Nurses and PCTs)



Injuries by Department and Days Lost from Work


(Includes Nurses and PCTs) 

Notably, the Intensive Care Unit has the largest amount of work related injuries.  Actions have been taken to increase the number of overhead lifts that have been installed.  Also, to address this issue, Prevent, Inc., our consultant for Safe Patient Handling, is re-educating staff regarding the use of the lifts and other devices purchased for this area.  Overall, however, Nursing Staff has reduced the total number of injuries as is shown on the graph below.