Medical Center

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Site Logins
Home > Professional Nursing Staff Organization > Healthy Workplace > Safety for Staff & Patient

Safety for Staff & Patient

UVAHS structures ensure that nurses are working and caring for patients in a safe practice environment. Many of the activities to assure a safe and secure environment of care for patients also support a safe environment for our staff. The link between safe, competent practice, high-quality patient outcomes and a healthy productive work environment is well-established in the healthcare and business literature.

Empowered Staff, Superior Safety: UVA’s Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Richard P. Shannon, MD, has introduced “Be Safe,” a shared methodology focused on creating an environment of unmatched patient and team member safety. Be Safe trains and empowers all front-line staff to call out issues that affect safety, workflow and outcomes. This triggers a systematic, real-time problem solving process that quickly involves leadership support and other organizational resources, as needed, to effect changes.

Safe Patient Handling: UVAHS has invested in a wide variety of minimal lift equipment since 2003 to support safety for both caregivers and patients during repositioning and mobility. Local Transfer Mobility Coaches help staff optimize their safe patient handling techniques.

Exposure Control and Sharps Injury Prevention Program: Safety systems minimize staff risk for exposure to blood and body fluids in all patient care areas. Whenever staff experience an exposure, expedited care is delivered to support rapid treatment and peace of mind for our staff. Any exposures and sharps injury events are closely studied to determine whether processes or products can be changed to enhance safety.

Slips, Trips and Falls: UVAHS has a robust nurse-led Falls Prevention program that drives proactive safety measures, such as yellow identifiers for patients with high fall risk. They investigate the contributing factors when a fall does occur, to further improve safety. Any staff encountering an environmental hazard that poses a fall risk can take immediate action – such as pop up cones and pads to soak up hallway spills; calling Facilities’ hotline to promptly fix a broken tile or uneven sidewalk.

Preventing Violence: Several safety programs help identify the potential for violence in the healthcare setting, prevent it from escalating, and provide security and support for patients, families and staff should an incident occur. Emergency Room staff, Security, and many others receive specialized training in de-escalation of intense situations. Patients at risk for delirium have preventative care plans in place. A rapid response team assists in the event of a behavioral emergency.



Thanks for Visiting!

Welcome to the Professional Nursing Staff Organization! All Registered Nurses employed by the UVA Health System's Medical Center, School of Nursing and School of Medicine are members of our Professional Nursing Staff Organization (PNSO). Please provide us feedback!

Be a UVA Nurse!