Staff scarcity hits hard. How are safety compliance solutions relieving the pressure?

Tuesday, 01 February, 2022

From the early hours of 2022, healthcare teams braced themselves for a new wave of challenges. Each new variant brings new risks, new compliance requirements and new policies to implement them. Omicron is no different. As holidaying staff return from travel, many are receiving news that they have become close contacts and cannot return to work — as if staff shortages were not severe enough already. How can shrinking healthcare teams be confident when making critical decisions in this ever changing crisis?

In late 2021, a fever detection alarm sounded at one of Australia’s largest global food manufacturers. The system detected a high temperature from an entering manager, who was asked to wait a few minutes and retry entering in case of error. Two tries later and the system was still alarming. The reception staff knew they should refuse the manager entry, despite his continued complaints that he should be allowed in. The situation was stressful for the staff and proved to be dangerous to the plant when the manager tested positive the following day.

The plant’s technical adviser explained: “The resulting quarantine would have cost us in reduced production, financial burden and staff wellbeing. A whole plant shut down... that would have cost millions. But since the incident we have had a wake up call. We realised we needed to get our policies in line.”

Their new policy: Each employee that triggers a fever detection alarm is required to wait ten minutes before trying again. Three alarms and you are required to get a rapid antigen test. No exceptions.

The technical adviser went on to explain that: “Staff were feeling guilty that they were turning people away, but now they can just appeal to our new policy and have peace of mind. It takes the pressure off. It’s all up to the system.”

The right technical solutions give power to policies. They empower staff to enforce requirements and remove the pressure of making critical decisions. Human error is thus prevented and staff can focus on care. Automated and dynamic solutions ensure a level of safety and security that is otherwise impossible for a resource-stretched staff team. Staff have been exhausted by two years of unprecedented strain — systems that relieve this pressure are essential to sustainable solutions.

The market’s newest compliance solutions do not stop at fever detection. One of Victoria’s leading aged care facilities has now implemented Xacom Arrival Compliancy, a compliance system built to mitigate risk for entering staff, visitors and contractors. The “all in one” system is unique in its ability to integrate and unify a range of risk mitigation equipment, and produce automated reports and alarms when staff action is required. For example, the aged care facility in question uses the system to integrate the functions of fever detection, access control, CCTV and site check ins. Key staff members are notified of over temperature alarms, non-compliant visitors and all data is saved for relevant audits. This kind of integration allows staff to keep on top of a large range of compliance issues from a single platform.

Risks will always be part of care and it is likely that new variants will continue to challenge our healthcare system. Compliance solutions mean healthcare teams can continue to care with confidence, knowing that compliance is ensured, risks are mitigated and the pressure is off their shoulders. With temperature detection, contractor compliance functions, security integration and more, the question really lies with you: what risks do you need to mitigate?

Xacom exists to connect people so they feel safe, providing 24/7 support and specialised solutions for the healthcare, manufacturing, emergency services, government and other industries. To discuss compliance at your facility make an enquiry through Xacom’s Arrival Compliancy Webpage.

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