Identifying Safety Peer Leaders with Social Network Analysis
Injuries rates in healthcare are higher than in other industries (50.2 vs. 38.8 per 10,000 workers) (Dressner 2017). Safe patient handling programs reduce the risk of patient-assist injuries, an issue that accounts for 45% of workers’ compensation claims. Safe patient handling programs implement engineering (e.g., introduction of patient-transfer equipment), administrative (e.g., no-manual-lift policy implementation), and educational (e.g., peer coaching) control measures (Nelson and Baptiste 2006). A study across 141 Veterans Administration facilities over three years found that 23% of the variation in injury reduction was attributed to actions performed by peer leaders (Powell-Cope et al. 2014). Program effectiveness ranges from non-significant number of lost workdays in a five-year period (Nelson et al. 2006), negative benefit-to-cost ratios over seven years (Tompa et al. 2016), to decrements in injury rates of 50–65% in one to seven years (Tompa et al. 2016;...
This study was funded by the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University. Special thanks to our organizational healthcare partner as well as to W. Kent Anger, PhD, Leslie B. Hammer, PhD and the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center.
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