Happy 4th of July

| | Utilization Review

Kats 4th of July Message 2017
As we embark on our holiday plans, UR Nation would like to give a shout out to our troops who are serving the U.S. today and those who have served over the years. We recognize that through their sacrifice we can celebrate the independence that we all enjoy! Serving our country is one of the most unselfish acts an individual can perform, and we thank you for your service.

This leads me to think about safety. One of the main concerns about serving in the military is the safety of our troops. Each man and woman is put into a situation where their safety is on the line. This holds true for many workers in the U.S. as well. Think of the dangerous situations that workers find themselves in every day:

  • Oil Rig Workers – oil rig equipment injuries, burns, etc.
  • Truckers – one of the highest injury professions due to equipment malfunctions as well as vehicular accidents
  • Warehouse & Longshoremen – lifting heavy items leads to many muscular-skeletal injuries
  • Manufacturing – equipment failures, slips and falls, noise, vibration, etc.

Injuries take place everywhere – even in office spaces where slips and falls occur. So how do we go about keeping ourselves, our military troops, our employees and co-workers safe? Many common sense items come to mind (be mindful of the equipment, situation, floors, etc.). Here are some tips that you may not have heard of that will assist in your personal safety:

  • If you have a car key fob with an emergency button on it, you can place it on your nightstand and push the emergency button if you suspect somebody is breaking into your home. The horn blowing may just be enough to divert the intruder’s attention breaking into your home.
  • Safety apps are available on your cell phone that will allow you to notify authorities of your location, etc. should you feel threatened. Additionally, many phones have a ‘share my location’ option on them. Use this with a loved one so that you can track where they are and report their whereabouts if a concern is raised (i.e. they don’t arrive home when anticipated). This can also be used in the workplace (though some may find it intrusive).
  • Use your flashlight on your phone if you are in a location that is not well lit.
  • Have an “ICE” (in case of emergency) contact in your cell phone. Most phones will allow an emergency contact person to be accessed even when your phone is locked. Ask your phone carrier to provide you information on this.
  • Be safe around fireworks (especially this week). Maintain a safe distance and leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals.  There are many events that allow you to enjoy the fireworks safely without risking injury to yourself and those that you love. If you do attend a fireworks demonstration and the wind shifts causing exploded debris to fall in your area, vacate the location immediately.

For business safety:

  • In the case of an active shooter (which is sadly becoming more common) exit the building to safety. If you must stay in place, find a secure place and barricade yourself inside. If you must confront the shooter do so as last resort. Work with others to position your survival team near the door the shooter will likely enter. Grab the shooter’s weapon and strike the shooter in the knees, groin, neck, and head.
  • With summer upon us, be mindful of the heat. This sounds simple but heat stroke occurs regularly as we think we are fine… until we aren’t. Always carry water with you and keep hydrated.
  • Use proper lifting techniques. So many of the injuries we see on a regular basis are related to improper lifting.  Remember to lift with your legs, wear a back support when repetitively lifting heavy objects.
  • Be mindful of your environment… watch for broken railings, water on the floor, wet roadways, excessive water on the roads in flooding situations. When driving turn around if a roadway is heavily flooded.
  • Report equipment failures to your supervisor. Don’t play mechanic or technician and try to ‘rig’ a solution that may cause even more danger to you, others or the equipment.

Remember that accidents are truly just that… there is no intent of harming oneself or others. However, these injuries can often be avoided if we are aware of our environment/surroundings.

Now, go out there and be safe! Happy 4th!

Karen Atkins

Karen Atkins, Chief Operating Officer with UniMed Direct, is leading the conversation, and the industry, on how to make the utilization review process more efficient for all stakeholders: physicians, insurance companies and, most importantly, patients.