Safety is paramount in any healthcare environment, from the dynamics inside to the conditions of the landscape. In terms of the latter concern, the winter in Northeast Ohio naturally invites more hazards for healthcare facilities. As snow and ice accumulate on parking lots, sidewalks and walkways, healthcare facilities become increasingly difficult for patients to access and also increase the potential for slips and falls (and subsequent injuries) on-site.
For those who oversee healthcare facilities management, here are a few helpful tips on how to keep your practice or hospital safe come wintertime.
1. Establish a Plan of Action for Handling Snow Storms
Patients expect healthcare facilities to stay operational and safe during winter storms — and in order to meet that expectation, facilities must have a clear protocol in place to handle storms. In the scope of the facility’s exterior, there should be a clear outline of who is responsible for snow and ice removal, whether it’s internal maintenance staff or an outside vendor, and a checklist of the services they’ll perform. (In the case of internal personnel, there’s also the need to confirm that the right equipment and supplies are available for the job.)
2. Maintain Oversight of Detailed Storm Reports
As snow conditions vary, so should the response of healthcare facilities. That’s why it’s critical to actively monitor the ebbs and flows of snowstorms, so you know what to prepare for — whether it’s a light dusting of snow over a one-day period or several inches of snowfall over two days. This responsibility can again be assigned to an internal staff member, or better yet, to a vendor that can monitor storm reports and then share them with you.
3. Invest in Commercial-Grade Equipment
Healthcare facilities can’t afford downtime or inconveniences for patients — and the snow/ice removal equipment they choose should align with that. Whereas snow shovels and bags of salt can translate into hours of manual work, heavy-duty snow blowers and liquid deicing agents will clear and protect a facility’s outdoor space in a fraction of time, with more effective results. While a healthcare facilities manager can petition to make an investment in this equipment, one benefit of working with a snow/ice removal company is they’ll already have commercial-grade equipment on hand. This saves the initial investment, as well as future maintenance costs.
As a provider of commercial landscape services, Green Impressions understands the importance of year-round care for Northeast Ohio healthcare facilities. From mixed-use to single-purpose healthcare properties, we can pair snow/ice removal services in winter months with routine maintenance and care to simplify your facility management needs. Learn more here.