7 steps to safely implementing new products

Accountability for displaying proper patient lifting and moving – whether it’s physically lifting patients or utilizing equipment – rests at the top of the agency

A new lifting device hits the market and it’s great – a back saver, cost saver and time saver – a trifecta of savings! You first catch a glimpse of it at a trade show and immediately start thinking about purchase orders.

As this new device gets delivered and you open the box, you’re eager to start putting it on each ambulance and get your crews actively using it, but first thing is first.

You might have seen this device being used or tried it out with the vendor ... you might become an official trainer for this device’s use, but, first, you must ensure everyone is properly trained and guided on how to use the new device.

"Proper training on any piece of new equipment means more than directing paramedics to the vendor’s online tutorial video," writes Nowak. (Photo/Getty Images)

Here are seven strategies to help properly train, document and validate that your employees are ready to implement these new pieces of equipment ... these back savers, cost savers, and time savers.

  1. Always have employees attest that they’ve received updated policies and outline when those policies will be effective on their signature document.
  2. Whenever possible, have a vendor representative directly conduct (or accompany) employee in-service training on new product rollouts.
  3. Create a skills performance evaluation (e.g., check-off sheet) outlining the proper steps to perform a skill using a new piece of equipment, whenever applicable (or use a vendor-provided documentation form).
  4. Ensure that product in-service training is conducted for all current, relevant employees and future employees, as indicated.
  5. Remember that product in-service training is not the same thing as continued education training, and that the two should remain separate whenever possible to avoid confusion and to promote appropriate focus.
  6. If utilizing a new product could be considered a medical intervention, then your medical director should be consulted (and ultimately, approve) the product’s introduction into your agency’s toolbox.
  7. Verify competency over time by having employees occasionally complete the same skills performance evaluations as they did when they initially were trained on the product’s use.

Proper training on any piece of new equipment means more than directing paramedics to the vendor’s online tutorial video. It’s important to describe and demonstrate how to correctly use new equipment, to set providers up for success.

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