Objective: Expatriate workers and their families may encounter difficulties and uncertainties when visiting local hospitals. These problems include differences in the medical system, higher healthcare costs, and language problems. Occupational health staff in companies need to know about the healthcare system, including emergency transportation arrangements, to reduce anxiety in workers and families attending hospitals. This study was designed to create a checklist to allow occupational health staff to collect information from overseas hospitals efficiently and effectively. Methods: We used documentary searches and the knowledge and experience of researchers to identify the support requirements of expatriate workers and drafted a checklist for information collection from overseas hospitals. The validity of the checklist was assessed in two stages. First, we interviewed health specialists caring for expatriate workers and their families and then tested the draft in international hospitals. We revised the draft based on our findings and again tested the new version in different overseas hospitals, enabling us to create a final version of the checklist. Results: Our checklist contains 12 major categories: reception, administration, inpatient wards, available tests, outpatient clinics, emergency services, pediatrics, gynecology, dentistry, general health check-ups, vaccination services, and precautions against infection. These categories cover a total of 51 subcategories, each of which is further divided into a total of 131 smaller categories. Discussions: Occupational health staff can use this checklist to gather information in order to provide comprehensive and effective support for expatriate workers attending hospitals. We recommend that the staff gather all possible information from hospital websites before visiting and use the visiting time to gather information available only on site. In order to gather as much information as accurately as possible, the staff are recommended to visit the facilities related to the checklist categories, that is, Japanese language reception, outpatient services, inpatient wards, emergency services, pediatrics, gynecology, general health check-up centers, and cardiac catheterization labs, and obtain information directly from doctors, nurses, and specialists working at the hospitals.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an intervention program to prevent care workers' low back pain by the systematic use of transfer equipment at elderly care facilities. Methods: Questionnaire surveys were administered to administrators and care workers before (baseline), 1 year after, and 2.5 year after starting the program at two elderly care facilities. Care workers at the intervention facility were requested to ensure the use of a transfer's hoist, sliding board, and sliding sheet when assisting in the transfer of residents who were judged as appropriate to use the equipment (27.5% of residents living the intervention facility). Care workers at the control facility received no instructions on the use of transfer equipment. Results: The average response rate of administrators and care workers was 100% and 90.3%, respectively. The number of care workers who responded during all three survey periods was 29 at the intervention facility and 23 at the control facility, and they were subjected to the current analysis. At baseline, transfer equipment was already introduced in both facilities, but it was found that the care workers did not regularly use it for assisting transfer. At 2.5-year follow-up, 31.0% of the intervention group and 4.3% of the control group always used the transfer's hoist. Similarly, 27.6% of the intervention group and 4.3% of the control group always used the sliding board and sliding sheet. Further, 60%-70% of the care workers at both facilities reported of having low back pain, but no statistically significant difference was found between the facilities or over the measurement periods. Among the intervention group, however, the care workers who reported an active use of the transfer's hoist, sliding board, and sliding sheet showed an improvement in low back pain. In the control group, no significant association was found between the active use of transfer equipment and low back pain. Conclusion: These results indicated that the prevention of care workers' low back pain requires the introduction of transfer equipment in facilities and its regular use under the implementation program. If the number of residents requiring transfer equipment increases, its systematic use is expected to improve low back pain in care workers. This improvement can translate into safer and healthier workplaces for elderly care.
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