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How to Efficiently Use a Crash Cart

Crash carts are an essential and life-saving piece of equipment for healthcare facilities. When a patient is experiencing a medical emergency, healthcare workers need to be able to provide critical treatment as fast as possible. Crash carts allow equipment, medications, and instruments needed in these situations to be brought right to the scene. In order to ensure crash carts are ready for the next medical emergency, it is crucial to have a crash cart ready to be used to maximum efficiency by healthcare personnel.

How can you ensure your crash cart is ready for the next health emergency? Here are some aspects to ensure you have in your crash cart so when time is of the essence, all efforts can be put towards saving a patient and not searching for supplies.

Efficiency:

In a moment where every second could mean life or death, it is essential to have an efficient operation set-up so every second can be devoted to saving a life. One of the best ways to ensure your crash cart is able to be used efficiently is through the use of drawer labels. Through the use of labels, a facility can ensure supplies are kept in the same exact location all of the time. Healthcare workers are able to find exactly what they need quickly with the organization and in return focus all of their efforts towards saving the patient. But what is the best way to organize your drawers? First for foremost, you want the items that are most often needed in emergencies to be on top of the cart or in the first two drawers. Let's take a look at how to optimally organize a crash cart.

  • On the top of the cart you should have a biphasic defibrillator with adult paddles and adult multi-purpose pads, along with pads and paddles for infants. Ambu-bags with facemasks and oxygen tub connectors in both adult and child sizes can be found on one side of the cart, and a compressed oxygen tank on the other side. On the back of the crash cart, a CPR backboard can also be placed.
  • The top two drawers should contain essential resuscitation medications with clear labels and organization. These two drawers normally are compartmentalized in order to allow medications to be stored separately and be visible as well as first glance.
  • The third drawer is normally designated to contain all supplies needed to establish peripheral intravenous access rapidly which would include angiocatheters, needles, alcohol wipes, syringes and more.
  • The fourth drawer usually is designed to store respiratory equipment and supplies.
  • The fifth drawer is mainly designated for holding larger supplies and instruments that are not needed for all emergencies, but just for special emergencies.

Accessibility:

To put it simply, you need to be able to access all supplies and equipment quickly and easily during medical emergencies. Breakaway locks are a great way to keep supplies safe while they are not needed, but also provide easy access to supplies when they are needed through one quick motion. These locks not only allow for quick response time, but also help a facility know what supplies were used in the emergency. With this, they know which supplies need to be restocked. Restocking a crash cart after each use is a must and builds into the factor of accessibility. Restocking right after the use of a crash cart ensures accessibly for the next emergency call that requires the use of the crash cart.

Mobility:

Crash carts need to be able to move to the location where there is a medical emergency. Having a mobile crash cart that is able to quickly shift and make corners is very important and having casters that allow these movements can help a crash cart be moved to where it is needed as quickly as possible. Not only is it crucial that your cart can maneuver hallways easily, but also maneuver around a patients room so that the cart can be close to the healthcare provider.

Crash Carts play a key role in the healthcare field, but they need to be able to be used efficiently and be accessible in order to be at their optimal usage. Lakeside has a wide variety of Crash Carts based on the needs of different facilities. Are you ready to find the right Crash Cart for your operations?

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Improving Employee Morale at Your Healthcare Facility

Improving Employee Morale at Your Healthcare Facility

It is well known that the healthcare field has been experiencing low levels of employee retention. While there are less employees coming in to work each day, the same amount of patients are still expecting a high quality of care in a timely manner. With less employees and the same patient demands, healthcare workers are put in a tough position.

Employee morale is a great concern for every healthcare facility today as employees are working overtime multiple days a week, often days in a row, causing them to have little to no time for rest. As healthcare workers have experienced staffing shortages for a while now, the effects are starting to be extremely noticeable.

So the question is, how can you help improve employee morale for your team? According to the CDC, "Workplace health programs can improve morale and organization reputation." Here are a few areas to consider in workplace health programs that not only focus on physical well-being, but mental well-being as well.

Supporting Employee Mental Health:

This aspect of our health affects so many areas of our life, including our energy and drive while at work. Actions speak louder than words, so consider showing employees that you value their mental health rather than just stating that you do. Consider offering mental health PTO days giving your team members an opportunity to care for themselves.

Streamlining Communication:

Creating open communication amongst your team is a great way to increase employee morale as they feel knowledgeable and aware of what is happening amongst the team and at the facility. This also leads to less confusion and uncertainty down the road. An easy way to alleviate stress is communicating ahead of time. While this is not always an option in healthcare as uncertain events are bound to happen, where you are able to offer this, make sure you to offer that open line of communication. When your team knows they can always come to you, this can help reduce stress and improve your teams' morale.

Employee Recognition:

Consider creating an employee recognition program where team members can submit the name of someone who is doing an outstanding job with patients, working well with the team, or in other areas. Then take time to celebrate that person's efforts and contributions to your healthcare facility in front of your team. Recognition is a huge motivator from humans.

Investing in Employee Physical Health:

While employee mental health is crucial to focus on in healthcare, it is also important to ensure your teams' physical health is being prioritized. Your team is on their feet most of the day, moving equipment around to provide care for patients. Using equipment that is designed to reduce injuries is a great way to showcase the importance you place on physical health.

Lakeside offers a selection of Ergonomically Engineered Carts that are built to provide safety, durability, and comfort for your staff. The design of these carts provide ease for daily activities are your healthcare facility and are an investment your team will be sure to thank you for.

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2020 Year in Review: Senior Care Foodservice

Here are the highlights of our senior care foodservice blogs from this year.

Senior care facilities were put on high alert early on during the Coronavirus pandemic. With residents at a higher risk than most, it has been vital for senior care staff to continue to deliver necessary foodservice safely. Meal delivery during COVID-19 has never been as important, and with the right tools, it was being done in a safe, effective manner. The changes we saw over the course of 2020 will no doubt impact how senior care foodservice is handled as we embark on the new year.

Here are the biggest takeaways of the significant changes we witnessed in senior care foodservice in 2020.

Continue reading 2020 Year in Review: Senior Care Foodservice

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How Healthcare Foodservice Leaders Are Responding in 2020

Pressure was placed on healthcare foodservice leaders to develop an unexpected pandemic response plan.

Many have prepared for emergencies like fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, or mass shootings, but a pandemic was not on the list for the near future. Since being prepared is key to any good action plan, a lot of pressure was placed on healthcare foodservice leaders to develop an unexpected pandemic response plan. Nonetheless, they stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park with response plans created to anticipate the worst, respond immediately, and adapt to the inevitable changes to come. Circumstances differ from hospital to hospital due to location and outbreak, but food service leaders are working hard to keep providing food to patients and staff. Continue reading How Healthcare Foodservice Leaders Are Responding in 2020

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Did Someone Order Delivery? In-Room Service Gains Traction

In-Room Service Gains Traction Amongst Hospitals & Care Facilities Across The Country

The limitations and closures of gathering points in hospitals due to COVID-19 have impacted in-room service. However, special attention to in-room service was gaining traction well before the pandemic began. Doctors have always said food can be more than fuel for your body, and with the right nutrients, it can help in the healing process too. Some hospitals are using that concept, as well as patient experience, to change the stereotypes of hospital food for the better and improve patient satisfaction.  Let’s take a look at three healthcare facilities in particular that have started to take a more hospitality-inspired approach to in-room service.

UCLA HEALTH SYSTEM

Open 6:45 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., UCLA offers a restaurant ordering system where the kitchen cooks meals on-demand with menus updated to physician requested, plant-based meals with protein optional additions. Regularly scheduled tray service is still available to neuropsychiatry patients, which is why UCLA’s kitchen is separated into two sections to cater to both types of services.

Keeping in mind there is a 90-minute window between mealtimes, UCLA staff alternates between making and sending 25 trays to 1 unit in neuropsychiatric care and cooking and delivering room service tickets. This staggered approach has eliminated many challenges associated with offering both services.

Room service at UCLA is promised to arrive within 45 minutes but averages 28 minutes. What’s their secret? Food lifts.

Each floor has a dedicated cart with a timer for seven minutes. The cart is wheeled into the lift,  sent up to its designated floor, and the patient is immediately notified. To ensure quality, the cart enters into a pantry where hot and cold additions are added just before being taken to the patient, and the meal is delivered with food and drinks at the correct temperatures.

JOHNS HOPKINS HEALTH SYSTEM

John Hopkins offers Hotel-style, on-demand room service to their patients. They name this style of service the Johns Hopkins At Your Request program. Doctors realized there was a lot of food waste when they had patients ordering the day before, resulting in many being unavailable to receive their meals.

The John Hopkins At You Request program gives patients the flexibility to order their meals anytime between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. and receive it within 60 minutes. To better accommodate nutritional diets prescribed to patients, John Hopkins also provides a nutritional department to help assist in meal decisions. Their diverse menu options are a significant factor in the success of the program.

The freedom to choose between traditional hospital foods like meatloaf and upscale items like salmon makes the patient feel satisfied with their meal experience, even when they don’t order the extravagant items. In fact, the majority stick with the traditional items, while the occasional upscale orders bring comfort to patients and family members who need it.

ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

St. Jude’s primary focus is on young patients and their families. Patients aren’t limited to in-hospital care, as many of their outpatients go through treatment at nearby housing sponsored by St. Jude and receive their customized meals there. They use a Combi Oven to deliver quality food within expectations of 30 – 45 minutes. As for their future plans for servie? They’re expected to upgrade their systems to TV-operated ordering services and explore newer cooking technologies. Nonetheless, their specialty is in the services they provide.

Considering the age of their patients, their happiness is a priority. The chef often greets patients with a hug and smile, with meals that are fully specialized to encourage the patient to eat and heal. So much so, that patients have even gone to the kitchen to teach the chefs how to make their food!

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Top 10 Reasons Your Facility Should Be Gluten/Allergen Free

10. Raise Awareness – Heightened awareness is critical to the welfare of this population so that they can be served safely by knowledgeable staff and facilities.  We are very passionate about this cause and try to spread the word as much as possible.

9. Fulfill the Need - As demonstrated by the trends and facts, this topic requires greater awareness to meet the needs of the patients, residents and patrons.

8. Ease Your Worries – Putting a formal program into your facility will ease your worries that people can dine safely and have their needs met.  No one wants to see people get sick.

7.  Take Pride – This is a wonderful opportunity to provide a work environment that is topnotch and demonstrates caring and that you have taken the extra step to do the right thing!

6. Instill Confidence – The most important aspect of providing a formal program is that you will instill confidence with the patients, residents and patrons that you know what you are doing and that they should not fear that they will get sick.  In addition, the staff will have a renewed sense of confidence as they have been given the knowledge to do the right thing.

5.  Pro-Active – Be the first and become a role model.

4. Regulatory Compliance – From the start, develop the program so that it will be compliant with the FDA Labeling Laws and other regulatory body standards - federal, state, local, Joint Commission.

3. Well Educated Staff – Knowledge is power which will increase confidence in the patients, residents and patrons, and your staff.  This new program needs to be comprehensive so that it covers all facets including clinical and practical aspects.

2. Change Agent- Start a movement and be a best practice facility for your peers to look up to.  It will be great publicity for your institution

1.  Patient/Patron Safety and Satisfaction!!!!! – Ultimate Goal which can be accomplished with the implementation of a formal gluten/allergen-free food service program following the guidelines presented today.