Will Covid-19 Influence Safer Workplaces?
By Bob Catinazzo
Practicing Perfection Institute CEO Tim Autrey, in his Monday Morning Mindset entitled: Your Grand Opportunity to Serve, challenged his readers to simply ask, “How can I help?” the next time anyone comes to them with an issue, or a challenge.
So, here goes, here’s how I think I can help…
As the pandemic continues to spread around the world, most of us are seeing disruption to our personal lives and where and how we work. In the past, most companies were hesitant to allow flexible work arrangements for their employees. However, those same companies are now all-in and experiencing positive benefits to productivity and performance in this challenging work environment.
What about the medical profession?
Specifically, those who work in a hospital - the true heroes during this challenging time. What are they feeling relative to productivity and performance?
What I am most concerned about is their mindset as the mental fatigue associated with all the uncertainty in their world swirls around them.
Despite assurances from their hospitals’ leadership, many frontline workers are worried about overrun emergency departments with too few life-support devices to go around. They’re afraid of protective supplies running low and of contracting the virus themselves — and passing it along to their loved ones (I happen to live with one of these heroes).
In this faster-now-than-ever work environment, our medical professionals are more apt to make a mistake than ever before.
Because human beings are FALLIBLE, meaning; WE all make mistakes (actions or inactions that cause something other than what was intended).
Now, more than ever before, it is incumbent on the front-line supervisor operating in this type of environment to wear his/her risk management hat every second of the day.
The biggest lesson I learned in my law enforcement career as a front-line supervisor was: To lead those in a high stress, fast-paced profession, a leader’s job is to realize that he/she leads strong “A-Type” employees who go about their workday at 100 miles per hour!
As such, I truly believe that a leaders’ job is to look for what their teammates might have missed as they go speeding by.
Even your best employee needs to be led, no matter how good they are.
As they seek to serve, Healthcare workers clearly have greater potential for exposure to Covid-19. I found a great article about what to do after being exposed. You can access the article here.
Current conditions in hospital work environments can certainly make it more likely for a people to make mistakes. We call such conditions TRAPS.
Each team member, and more importantly, his/her leader (aka the “sheepdog, one who protects the herd”) must maintain a high-level of vigilance to help everyone maximize and avoid work environment TRAPs.
So, how can I help?
To reinforce a safer workplace, here is a PDF copy of the PPI Medical Error Elimination Tools Handbook. This is a simple set of behavioral ‘tools’ that can be used before, during, and after each shift.
You can begin using these Tools immediately. When you use them uncompromisingly, you virtually eliminate the potential for human error.
As a challenge to you, see how many traps may have reared their head each shift and give yourself a high-five for finding them, recognizing them, and defeating them.
How can you help?
If you’re in the medical field, take the lead and begin using the tools NOW, and share them with your teammates. If you’re not in the medical field but know someone who is, send them the pdf and encourage them to use it.
Wishing you all a safe journey through these challenging times!
Bob Catinazzo, PPM
Practicing Perfection Institute
Executive Vice-President – Client Services
Bob Catinazzo is a decorated Senior Supervisory Agent for the DEA (retired), and is Director- Law Enforcement Services for the Practicing Perfection Institute. He has taught law enforcement professionals around the world, providing strategic and tactical insights in leadership and human performance.