We have recently added a new employee to our team. Of course, background checks and all of those basics were completed before this person’s first day of work. However, I have realized that my priority on the order in which we complete other employment paperwork has changed over the years.
We still complete all of the required paperwork (I-9, W-2, payroll information, Orientation information, etc.) on the first day of employment, but the absolute first form that I require that day is our Staff Emergency Information Form. I realized that I am now a bit paranoid and want this form completed as soon as a new employee walks into our facility.
My paranoia is not without cause though. Several years ago, we had a new employee, about 15 minutes into her first shift with us, have a major medical issue. We discovered at that time that, although we had her emergency information scattered among a few documents, we did not have one easily-accessible form that provided the EMT’s with all of the basic information that they needed to provide her with the best possible care. What, if any allergies or medical conditions did she have? Did she take any medications regularly? To which hospital should they transport her? In an emergency, there is not time to shuffle through paperwork trying to find these answers.
As our employee was in transit to the hospital, our next task was to get in touch with her emergency contacts. Again, although that information was in her personnel file, it was buried a bit and not immediately accessible. In that type of situation, I don’t want to flip through papers…I want to have the information at my fingertips.
That afternoon, we sat down and developed our Staff Emergency Information Form that sits prominently at the front of each Personnel File. And, over the years, we have revised it here and there to make sure that it is more complete, but just as simple. If, Heaven forbid, we have another emergency with one of our staff members, we are properly prepared.