Submitted by Mason Health

Washington Hospital Services awarded Mason Health Top Performer status for 2023, signifying the District’s commitment to safety for patients, visitors, employees and volunteers. The 2023 Top Performer Award encouraged participating hospitals to reduce injuries and create a safer work environment by launching safety campaigns for employees. The recognition came with an award plaque and $2,000 to use toward future safety campaigns.

Last year, Mason Health’s Melissa McClaran, Program Manager of Infection Prevention, Employee Health and Safety, launched a safety campaign that encouraged employees to report safety concerns through the District’s internal safety reporting system, known as SafetyZone.

“In her first year, Melissa did a wonderful job,” said Eric Gutzwiler, Safety Program Manager for Washington Hospital Services. “She is a strong advocate for employee safety, and we appreciate the extra efforts she displayed over this past year focused on safety campaigns.”

Mason Health’s Safety Committee, made up of members from various departments across Mason Health, including McClaran, kicked off last year’s safety campaign with a Safety Fair for employees on Aug. 2, 2023, at Mason General Hospital. One game involved scenarios that employees might encounter during the day, and discerning whether in that scenario an employee should report a SafetyZone or contact IT.

“Workplace safety is important because we want to make sure everyone feels safe coming into work and we want employees to know we’re looking out for employees, as well as patients,” McClaran said. “At other hospitals, the emphasis on safety is often with patients, but we want our employees to know this is a safe environment for everybody.”

If employees do not report safety issues, then Mason Health leadership will not know there is a safety issue, McClaran added. Past reported Safety Zone incidents have led to better lighting and traffic controls in the parking lot and new laboratory equipment to improve lab turnaround time.

McClaran, with the help of Yvonne Smith from Mason Health’s process improvement department, tracked safety concerns reported after the Safety Fair and documented those for the Top Performer award. They noticed more employees felt comfortable reporting safety incidents.

“These are designed to be non-punitive,” McClaran remarked. “We’re happy to see these because we need to take care of employees as much as we need to take care of patients.”

Mason Health, Public Hospital District No. 1 of Mason County is ISO 9001 Quality Management System certified by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and is a licensed and accredited acute care hospital with a level four emergency trauma designation. Mason General Hospital and Mason Clinic are ENERGY STAR certified and Mason Health is the recipient of three Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Awards and a Greening the OR Environmental Excellence Award. There are more than 100 physicians on staff in 19 specialties. For more information or to find a health care provider, visit The Mason Health website. To learn more about DNV, visit the DNV website.

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