Irwin Army Community Hospital Irwin Army Community Hospital earned the distinguished Army Safety and Occupational Health Star Strong flag award and was recognized for its commitment to safety during a ceremony June 22.
Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Tempel, Jr., Commanding General, Regional Health Command – Central (Provisional) presented the award to IACH leaders and staff.
“To earn this recognition shows a commitment to safety,” said Tempel. “Safety is not about checking a box or a monthly briefing; it’s a culture change. This says you have a world class health system and that safety is part of your culture.”
IACH is the second hospital in RHC-C, and one of 30 from 120 hospitals military-wide to earn the Army Star Strong flag.
“To get certified and earn this star says a tremendous amount about the IACH leadership and how much they care about the people they serve,” he said.
The Army Star Strong flag recognizes organizations that go beyond the standard set for patient and organizational safety. Attaining the certification involves a three-year journey of collaboration, commitment and change for every member of the organization. There are 243 task specific elements of performance that must be understood and modeled at every level.
“The key to earning star status is keeping safety at the forefront of everything we do. Staff must remain accountable to each other, leaders provide support and direction for safety performance and outcomes,” said Ron Knight, IACH Safety & Occupational Health Manager. “Initial achievement momentum can be easily lost; leaders and staff must truly buy into the vision to continually energize it.”
Getting everyone in the organization to recognize unsafe conditions and then personally take action to correct the hazard is only part of changing the culture. Actively managing even the smallest risks must become second nature to all staff. That is the ultimate success. That’s what the flag indicates.
“From top to bottom, the organization must continually renew its efforts to go beyond the minimum standard to maintain a culture of safety. We no longer accept the old adage of ‘it’s someone else’s job.’ IACH staff take it upon themselves to provide a safe working environment, promote safety, reduce workplace injuries and hold each other accountable for safety performance,” said Knight.