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Vision Surgical Center in Jeffersonville reduces risk in building inspections with VPC Safety Check

The interior waiting room of Vision Surgical Center, Jeffersonville, Indiana

The overview of how VPC is helping nursing staff safe time

Challenges

  • New staff at Vision Surgical Center in Jeffersonville were thrust into new safety roles without much training or background. 
  • Nursing staff were charged with building security and safety audits to maintain patient safety and accreditation standards.
  • Staff needed help understanding what, exactly, they needed to be looking for.

Solution

  • VPC Safety Check, a once-monthly, quarterly or annual on-site visit by VPC staff. 
  • VPC Safety Check includes a custom plan for the facility, including inspection rounds, drills and exercises, and question and answer time.

Results

  • Initial visits found several safety violations or risks, but all were remedied.
  • Risks remain remedied even during and after inspections from OSHA, local fire marshalls, and Indiana Homeland Security audits.

Nursing staff don’t learn building safety codes and inspections in nursing school

Kelley Manus and Stacy Curry are quick to tell you that nurses are trained on many things during nursing school. Everything from how to take vitals to emergency procedures to revive a stopped heart, but they are not trained on how to do whole-building inspections for fire safety, building security, and other risks.

“I took over this role from someone else without a lot of training or background on what, exactly, I’m supposed to be looking for,” says Curry, the Safety Officer at Vision Surgical Center in Jeffersonville, Indiana. “It’s up to me to watch for and check, and knowing the rules — even as they change — is challenging.”

“We don’t function like a hospital. We’re an ambulatory surgical center (ASC),” says Manus. Manus is the Assistant Director of Nursing at Vision Surgical Center. As part of patient safety, state and federal laws, and accreditation standards, Vision Surgical may not function like a hospital, but they are held to many of the same standards.

Clark County Fire Marshals, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, OSHA, and accrediting bodies routinely inspect or audit Vision Surgical. Those inspections look at everything from the quality of the ceiling tiles to how containers are stored on the floor and all points in between.

Interior patient exam areas at Vision Surgical Center, Jeffersonville, Indiana
The exterior of Vision Surgical Center, Jeffersonville, Indiana

VPC Safety Check provides the solution for recurring, on-site inspections and training

“We’ve been using Troy [Jester] quite a lot and he does a plethora of things for us, including fire door inspections, checking fire extinguishers, training, and mock safety walk-throughs,” says Curry. 

Vision Surgical Center uses VPC Safety Check, a recurring inspection that can be set monthly, quarterly, or annually depending on a facility’s size and needs. VPC staff come during each session to inspect everything a fire marshal, OSHA inspector, Homeland Security agent, or other official might look for.

“Last year Troy pointed out some ceiling tiles that needed replacing, but we share our building with other doctors upstairs. We’re two separate entities and, technically, that part is their responsibility. Sure enough, when the inspectors came through they flagged them for those tiles,” says Curry. 

“Troy does a good job looking through everything,” adds Manus. “He looks in the extinguisher hose, in the dampers, and even provides us with on-site training about what he’s doing and why. He’s opened our eyes to things we would never have thought about.”

The process takes about an hour with staff, but VPC staff are investing 2-3 hours for every one hour on site as part of documentation and other training.

“As part of each visit Troy usually does a walk-through with us in the mornings and then in the afternoon more staff come together for additional training,” says Curry. That additional training can include how to use fire suppression equipment, life safety quizzes and assessments, and other mechanical or safety drills. This extra service is bundled into the price and provides maximum value to staff.

“We’re nurses, not mechanics, so this is incredibly valuable to us. I’d never thought to look at fire extinguisher nozzle heads or check security lights,” says Curry.

Clear results with lower risks of fines and improved patient and staff safety

During the initial audits by VPC there were several items that were pointed out, documented, and soon resolved. During each subsequent visit roughly every month for the last two years there’s usually something documented for remediation. 

But in all those inspections, not once have they ever appeared as a warning or citation in an official audit or inspection. 

“Not only does [Troy] do our inspection, but he trains us, too, and explains everything,” says Curry. This ongoing relationship, even by text, phone, and email before and after visits, has likely saved Vision Surgical hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines or fees. Plus, it ensures patients and staff have a safe place to work and receive high-quality optometry treatment.

VPC’s training added into these visits provides new and long-time staff with initial or refresher training on injury prevention, patient safety, egress, and practice in drills. So when a tornado, fire, or other emergency arises, staff are prepared and know how to react like the nursing professionals they trained to be.

Get started with VPC Safety Check

Interested in learning more about VPC Safety Check or signing up your facility? Start here.

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