Preparing a Blitz
Gain management support
Before investing the time in creating a campaign, make sure that you get buy-in from management. Creating support from other employees can effectively demonstrate interest in and illuminate the importance of addressing sharps injuries at your facility. Craft a proposal that outlines the problem, explains how your campaign will address the problem, identifies the STOP STICKS resources at your disposal, and projects your expected outcome.
The results of your audience analysis will help you understand your audience and their needs and preferences. Use this information to guide you in developing the blitz messages, selecting appropriate templates for materials, and choosing channels for delivering those messages.
Begin with creating a timeline to help you gather information and assets you will need to customize the templates provided.
Create a production timeline that addresses the steps in your process
- Analyze the audience.
- Choose the number of blitzes. You will need to address specific needs of the audiences identified in the audience analysis.
- Create messages and determine the appropriate channels for message delivery.
- Select templates that are appropriate for your dissemination channels.
- Gather information and visuals needed to powerfully support your blitz messages.
- Select vendors or schedule facility services to create the blitz materials.
Types of information and visuals needed for templates
You will need the following types of information to customize the campaign materials templates:
Data on injuries, exposures, and staff. Appropriate data to use include the number of sharps injuries, how the injuries occurred, which instrument was involved, whether the instrument was a safety device and whether the safety feature had been activated, the position title of the injured staff member, department, date, time of day, work function being performed, number of employees, etc. For best results, gather data for the specific department where the safety blitz is going to be conducted as well as for the overall facility.
- Using data in messages. These data communicate the potential risk of exposure in a single department as compared with the overall facility. For example, people who work in the operating room typically experience a disproportionately high rate of sharps injuries. These data can be communicated through posters, staff meetings, newsletters, and memos. See Poster Templates for additional guidance in gathering appropriate data.
Employee quotes and testimonials. Quotes and testimonials are valuable in attracting attention of other employees. Collect quotes from individuals who will serve as "safety champions," or leaders who are willing to model the targeted sharps-safety practices. Stories of employees who have experienced sharps injuries can be effective parts of the safety blitz. Remember to obtain permission and the appropriate releases when including employee testimonials and quotes.
- Using quotes and testimonials in messages. Newsletter inserts, meeting presentations, and posters are more relevant for staff when they include quotes from employees already engaged in the targeted safety behaviors or who have been affected by an exposure. See the newsletter articles and the testimony poster template for places to use quotes.
Photographs of employees and instruments. Close-up photos of safety devices used in your facility and pictures of staff members modeling safe versus unsafe techniques and using safety devices make posters more personally relevant to employees. Be sure photos show best practices (e.g., show devices that clearly are safety devices and ensure individuals clearly are using personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for the task depicted).
- Using photography. Some poster templates allow for insertion of photos of facility employees and specific safety devices used by your facility. Digital photos similar to those shown in these poster templates can be inserted into the appropriate posters.
Contact safety device vendors. A popular blitz component is the safety device exhibit/vendor meeting.
- Working with vendors: Many vendors are willing to conduct an exhibition of safety devices and answer employee questions. This allows employees to interact with various types of safety devices they may not have been previously exposed to, and offers yet another channel of message delivery.
Gather promotional items. Another popular blitz component includes giving promotional items to staff members at meetings or as rewards for participating in follow-up evaluation efforts.
- Using give-aways: Pens, mugs, and totebags with the STOP STICKS logo, or existing items with your facility logo can draw people toward the message and expose them to the message via yet another channel, and everyone likes free stuff!
Conduct pre/post evaluation. Distribute a survey of pathogen exposure prevention knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, motivations, and culture to relevant personnel before and after the safety blitz to evaluate the impact of the blitz. Additionally, evaluate message exposure in the months following the blitz via survey, informal discussion, or group meeting.
- Using evaluation results: These data can help to measure the impact of your safety blitz, identifying success and illuminating areas needing improvement. See Evaluation: Measuring Campaign Impact for additional guidance on evaluating impact.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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