Case Studies

Crothall Helps Hospital Partners Achieve Safety Goals

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CROTHALL HELPS HOSPITAL PARTNERS ACHIEVE SAFETY GOALS

As hospitals everywhere look to ensure a safe environment for their patients and employees, Crothall Healthcare is helping its clients meet this challenge head-on with a multifaceted, award-winning safety program.

As a testament to the program’s success, Risk & Insurance magazine selected Crothall’s parent company, Compass Group, as one of its 2014 recipients of the prestigious Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award (“Teddy Award”). This annual honor is given to recognize excellence in reducing the number and cost of injuries to workers. Criteria considered include performance, sustainability, teamwork, and innovation.

“This is a very big honor,” said Compass Group’s Brian Varner, who has led the safety program for the past eight years. “Receiving the Teddy Award says a lot about our program and how it is helping to lower risks for our clients.”

As evidence of this, Compass Group’s Experience Modification Rate (EMR)—a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chances of risk—has declined steadily over the past five years to 0.96. That is below what is considered to be the industry average rating of 1.0. The lower the EMR, the lower the worker compensation insurance premiums and the safer the work environment.

“It’s about protecting people and protecting business,” Varner said of Compass Group’s safety program. “We’re not just a safety department,” he explained. Within the healthcare division, Compass Group’s safety team looks at data and trends in the 1,200 healthcare accounts the company serves, and they implement targeted initiatives to help their hospital partners minimize risk of injury and maximize productivity among employees.

HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?

To bring its safety message directly to front-line hospital staff, Crothall has implemented a multifaceted approach that focuses on areas like training, compliance, record keeping, and safety audits to identify problems, spot trends, and correct action items.

A comprehensive Injury Reporting Packet is provided to assist management in capturing all relevant information pertaining to a work-related injury and enable Crothall’s safety team to:

 

  • Quickly identify the root cause of injury and create an action plan to prevent reoccurrence
  • Identify possible workers’ compensation fraud
  • Better assist the leadership team with managing claims
  • Improve productivity by providing modified duty

 

All sites are required to conduct a quarterly Safety Performance Review (SPR). This is an excellent tool to identify potential safety issues. Action items are discussed among the management team and corrected following inspection. There is a direct correlation with the SPR scores and frequency of injuries, or the Incident Frequency Rate (IFR). As units’ SPR scores improve, their IFR scores tend to decrease.

NO HOSPITAL LEFT BEHIND

Accounts with the greatest opportunities for improvement based on IFRs and claims are designated by Crothall’s safety team as “focus” accounts. These hospitals receive targeted support through activities such as:

 

  • Visits from the Divisional Risk Manager
  • Safety training
  • Managing out-of-work claims

 

The needs of each focus account dictate the safety plan. At Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Texas—where Crothall supports EVS and Laundry—this meant bringing a Crothall safety representative on-site full-time when the 12-hospital system transitioned its approximately 800 employees to Crothall’s payroll in June 2011. Having an on-site person is not the typical protocol, but it is helping to improve safety dramatically across the system through initiatives like:

  • Training: Including daily safety huddles and targeted safety training in areas where injuries are higher.
  • Town Hall meetings: After a concern related to chemical splashes was identified, employees were empowered to help establish a new protocol of wearing goggles and gloves as part of their regular uniform. This G2 program has been so successful that it has been implemented for all Crothall employees in the Memorial Hermann Health System and at other hospitals as well.
  • Race for safety incentive program: Digital clocks and posters count how many days locations are injury-free, with gift cards and parties to celebrate milestones. Most recently, the EVS team at Memorial Hermann’s Sugar Land location celebrated two years without an injury as of January 2015.

“ This is a major accomplishment and takes everyone on the team to put safety first in everything they do.”

– Malisha Patel, COO Memorial Hermann Sugar Land

Jeanna Collins, Crothall’s Divisional Risk Manager at Memorial Hermann, is especially excited about how well-received the safety program has been not only within EVS and Laundry, but hospital-wide. Crothall has been tapped to train hospital managers in other departments on how to conduct proper accident investigations; and Crothall’s programs are routinely mentioned in hospital safety committee meetings.

In response to the Sugar Land EVS team’s recent two-year safety milestone, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Chief Operating Officer Malisha Patel said, “This is a major accomplishment and takes everyone on the team to put safety first in everything they do.”