Northern Inyo Hospital earned top employee safety honors and $5,000 from its workers’ compensation provider.
ALPHA Fund chose NIH as its 2014 Champion Award in December. It awarded the honor Feb. 19 at its annual participants’ meeting in Newport Beach. Georgan Stottlemyre, NIH’s Chief Human Relations Officer, accepted the award.
CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane credited all NIH employees for winning this award. “This is true team effort so any success must be credited back to our entire team,” Alexander-Lane said. “I am thrilled to see the hospital honored in such a manner. Safety for patients and employees remains our number one priority.”
The hospital was chosen for the award for several reasons. Randy Clark, Director of Loss Prevention for ALPHA Fund, said the hospital’s good employee safety record was important, but that the hospital’s attitude toward safety was a large factor in the selection. Clark said NIH’s proactive approach to improving workplace safety was evident throughout the facility.
“Your employees are proud of their environment and expressed to our representatives that they feel NIH is a special place where it is a privilege to work,” Clark said.
ALPHA Fund also noted that NIH’s involvement in its educational programs and trainings demonstrated strong leadership. “Your managers have always been actively engaged, and we were very impressed with CEO Victoria Alexander-Lane’s commitment to safety,” Clark said. “NIH always responds to suggestions made in our reports, and sometimes made recommended corrections or improvements immediately.”
Clark said he felt NIH is a “poster child” for the type of organization and relationship ALPHA Fund wishes to have with all its clients.
Chief Nursing Officer Kathy Decker played a key role in leading NIH’s interdisciplinary team to boost its safety efforts. Decker’s achievements included starting a Safe Patient Handling Committee that involved staff input; developing a log of lifting equipment and devices by department to be used with safety scenarios; revamping nurse training on lifting equipment; developing a Safety Ergonomics Rounds team and monthly body mechanics class.
Decker feels the additional training, coupled with increased technology, will reduce the number of lift injuries sustained by nurses. Nationally, lift injuries in health care professionals was at least two higher than those sustained in any other industry.
”A culture of safety in which leaders, managers and health care workers join together to create a safe place for both patient s and staff is of paramount importance. All must be mindful of the health and safety for both the patient and the health care worker,” Decker said.
In an effort to share the NIH safety story with its participants, ALPHA Fund put together a video about NIH that was shown at the annual meeting. The video is available online at http://youtu.be/ZoU-KMxJUi0.
ALPHA Fund specializes in workers’ compensation coverage for California’s public and not-for-profit healthcare organizations. Northern Inyo Hospital is a 25-bed, not-for-profit Critical Access Hospital located in Bishop. Accredited by The Joint Commission, NIH has been providing quality health care in the Eastern Sierra since 1946.