In March 2020, the caseload of patients positive for COVID-19 in hospitals began increasing rapidly, creating fear and anxiety among health care workers and concern about supplies of personal protective equipment.
To determine if implementing safety zones improves the perceptions of safety, well-being, workflow, and teamwork among hospital staff caring for patients during a pandemic.
A safety zone process was implemented to designate levels of contamination risk and appropriate activities for certain areas. Zones were designated as hot (highest risk), warm (moderate risk), or cold (lowest risk). Caregivers working in the safety zones were invited to complete a survey regarding their perceptions of safety, caregiver well-being, workflow, and teamwork. Each question was asked twice to obtain caregiver opinions for the periods before and after implementation of the zones.
Significant improvements were seen in perceptions of caregiver safety (P < .001) and collaboration within a multidisciplinary staff (P < .001). Significant reductions in perceived staff fatigue (P = .03), perceived cross contamination (P < .001), anxiety (P < .001), and fear of exposure (P < .001) were also seen. Teamwork (P = .23) and workflow (P = .69) were not significantly affected.
Safety zone implementation improved caregivers’ perceptions of their safety, their well-being, and collaboration within the multidisciplinary staff but did not improve their perceptions of teamwork or workflow.