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Mission Health Responds to NPR Injured Nurse Story

Susannah Kay for NPR
Mission Hospital in Asheville

Mission Health has posted a response to NPR's injured nurse story.  The full text is below:

Mission Health is committed to providing a safe and supportive work environment for our employees, and we have a strong record of accepting valid workers’ compensation claims. In fact, Mission accepted nearly 95% of total workers’ compensation claims while denying only 5.5% from 2010 through 2014.  In comparison, for the same time period, the North Carolina Industrial Commission reported an overall denial rate of 18.7%. Also, since 2010, Mission has taken up and litigated only two cases with both cases being found in Mission’s favor. Those two litigated claims in four years translate to an effective “litigation rate” of 0.02%, based on claims occurring in that same time span.  By contrast, the NC Industrial Commission report published for FY 2013, showed that NC overall had an overall litigation rate of 1.9% of total claims filed.  Our approval rate is as high as it is and our litigation rate is as low as it is because we trust our employees and have great compassion for them; if they are injured, we want to help.

At the same time, we are also working to reduce injuries and the improvements we have made have resulted in significant progress, including an 80.5% reduction in preventable back injuries from 2007 to 2012 and a lowering of the needle-stick/sharp rate – two important measurements of a safer hospital work environment. Since 2007, Mission Hospital has put in place several programs and invested millions of dollars to improve the work environment and enhance safety procedures. These efforts include a Safe Patient Handling Program which includes the installation of lift equipment that has reduced preventable back injuries; a Needleless Device Program that reduces employee exposure and injury from needles and sharp objects; a Crisis Prevention Training Course to educate staff on how to prevent and manage people in crisis; and a De-Escalation Course to reduce stress and agitation commonly experienced in healthcare settings. 

As Mission Health continues to ensure workplace safety, our BIG(GER) Aim defines ‘without harm’ as our first and most important element of our mission and extends beyond our patients to our caregivers.  This is an ongoing effort and, with input from our caregivers, we will continue to look for ways to improve the work environment and safety in our hospital for our caregivers, staff and the patients we serve.

--Karen Olsen, MBA, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Mission Hospital

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