Category Archive Health Care

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Elderly care competence in Poland for the need in Germany

As one of the fastest-growing societies in Europe, the demand for services for seniors in various sectors is increasing in Poland, but also in Germany. Due to market needs for professionally trained, qualified and certified employees in Poland, TÜV Rheinland Academy has started developing different programs for elderly care, oriented to the requirements of the German market.

Many employment agencies in Poland employ their teams in the elderly care sector, particularly in Germany. In 2011, one of the most significant association of employment agencies was interested in training for the staff who take care of seniors and working abroad especially in Germany as the elderly care assistant. Even though they already have many years of experience, the association wanted to train the staff and increased their competencies with certified qualifications also recognized on the German market. Therefore, TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland developed a customized project for the employment agencies and their customers.

Due to restrictive regulations of the German market, German employers increasingly demand the qualifications and competencies of employees in the elderly care industry. These regulations define the scope of requirements for people performing care and care activities. The Polish training meets these requirements — divided into two modules the training offers one self-learning part (in the form of scripts) as a preparation for the second module which covers 80 hours of intensive workshops.

On the first day of the workshop, there is a written exam from the self-learning part. With the final personnel certification the Polish attendant of elderly care now stands out in the market, especially in contrast to non-qualified people in this branch. The competence of the staff is essential in assessing the quality of care services provided. Careers, apart from detailed theoretical and practical preparation, must also have appropriate interpersonal skills. In this industry, high sensitivity to the needs of older people is of paramount importance, where the basis is the knowledge and understanding of those under care.

E-learning Module “Dementia diseases”

Initially, the training for the customized project for employment agencies was based on the German “Nursing Assistant” (Pflegehelfer) program with the exam and the final personnel certification. After three years of experience with this target group, TÜV Rheinland Poland gained the know-how to develop other trainings specified for the local market needs. One of the developed training contains a three day short workshop plus an e-learning module about the topic “Dementia diseases”, to fulfill the training content. This training was developed under an EU project dedicated mostly for the employees who already work with seniors in daily houses or nursing homes.

TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland pays particular attention to the quality of the training programs. An essential factor during the workshops is the ability of the students to use rehabilitation beds, wheelchairs, blood pressure monitors and small care devices properly. However, the ability to communicate with seniors and activate them again and again as well as the soft skills of the accompanying staff also play a major role. To date, our colleagues in Poland have trained more than 200 participants in various courses.  Although there is a great need for training in the elderly care sector, the main focus of investment has long been on infrastructure or equipment. Fortunately, it is becoming apparent that awareness of the qualification needs of the personnel is also slowly increasing in nursing care for the elderly. TÜV Rheinland Academy Poland is prepared to make its contribution to ensuring that the level of competence within the sector rises as quickly as possible in favour of the elderly.

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In 48 hours to more employee health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. It can hit anyone and cause massive mental and physical problems. For this reason alone, employers should find the right way to deal with stress in the workplace early on and consistently, and support employees as needed. Find out how well this works.

Psychological stress at the workplace is increasing. As a result, the health insurance funds in Germany alone have been recording a steady increase in stress-related sick leave for years. Of about 15 days of absence per capita and year, an average of 2.5 days are currently spent on psychological complaints. According to a recent survey, one in five workers across Europe is under stress every day and one in three is thinking about moving to a less stressful job.

Stress costs the economy billions

Mental illnesses also cost the economy dearly. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic costs of mental illness in the European Union (EU) alone amount to around 600 billion Euros annually. Especially since many countries now even prescribe the risk assessment of psychological stress at the workplace by law. Workplace health management therefore pays off for companies in every respect. But not every professional requirement is detrimental to health. Thus, stress in moderation can also encourage higher performance, promote personal development and give positive impulses for the quality of life and work. It is therefore crucial for companies to recognize at an early stage what strains have negative impacts on the workforce and its motivation.

Facts decide

But how can well-founded insights be gained beyond the subjective statements of employees? With the Resilience Check, TÜV Rheinland for the first time offers a program that objectifies the subjectively felt physical and mental stress of employees on the basis of reliable measured values – from heart health to sleep quality and recovery to general fitness. The resilience check provides companies with an instrument for realistically assessing the physical effects of stress on the workforce – and initiating long-term, needs-based preventive measures. This makes it a useful addition to risk assessment and becomes a valuable element of occupational health and safety and health management.

Determine individual stress factors

On the one hand, the individual employee benefits. After the online questionnaire on the physical condition (e.g. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep quality) and psychological condition (work-related behavior and experience pattern) in the context of their work has been completed, a chest strap measurement is carried out. On two ideal working days, different vital data on heart health, sleep quality, stress and physical activity are measured using a sensor that is attached to the skin like a plaster under the breast. A personal health report is automatically delivered at the end of the measurement. On the other hand, the company receives an anonymous company report for the targeted planning of company prevention measures: With simple anonymized comparison values across e.g. departments or locations, focal points for action are prioritized.

A classic win-win situation: employees learn which stress factors particularly motivate or burden them, employers get a holistic picture of the state of health of their own workforce – and can then focus on health prevention. For example, by realigning work processes, planning additional resources or designing offers for occupational health prevention in a target-group-specific manner, whether health advice, planning measures or introducing a holistic occupational health management system. Learn more about how you can optimize your workplace health management:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1667794604145327885 (German only)

 

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MDR Transition Period – All Clear at Half Time?

Slowly but surely, the end of the transition period for the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) of 25 May 2020 is approaching. In the meantime, half of the three-year transition period has elapsed and it is foreseeable that implementation of the MDR in companies in the medical device industry will only progress slowly and that pressure will increase.

This is underlined by the results of a recent survey conducted by RAPS and KPMG. Many of the medical device manufacturers surveyed lack long-term planning to meet the requirements of the new MDR. Only 22% of the respondents confirm a comprehensive understanding and strategy for the MDR impact; 41% have little to no knowledge of the regulations. It is very critical that almost 80% of the respondents currently lack the necessary knowledge and understanding of MDR. Nevertheless, technical experts and the industry associations recommend continuing to work at full speed on the rapid implementation of the MDR requirements. All stakeholders are waiting for detailed information that will make the implementation of the MDR livable. In the meantime, the European Commission has issued a step-by-step guide and a fact sheet for the implementation of the Medical Devices Ordinance. In 2018, the MDCG (Medical Device Coordination Group) also published the first MDR guidelines. But there are still too many ambiguities, such as the term “sufficient clinical data”.

The 4th Spring update Medical Device Conference of TÜV Rheinland Akademie addresses questions and problems in the interpretation and implementation of Medical Device Regulation. The conference also provides a platform for information and exchange on current focal topics for medical device manufacturers. The conference program and registration information can be found at:

https://akademie.tuv.com/shop/product/4-spring-update-medizinproduktekonferenz-2019-5865

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7 Myths of leadership – that you should forget

In the context of digital transformation, how can and how should managers and executives ensure with qualified leadership that teams and individual employees remain healthy, qualified and motivated – despite the stress brought on them by change and dynamic working conditions? For example, first of all be self-critical: After all, if things don’t run smoothly in the company, productivity and innovation rates fall short of expectations and the company falls steadily behind in the market, this can be caused by the coexistence of traditional and modern management models. Some executives like to cling to outdated models of staff management – and at the same time hope to somehow manage to survive the change. Dr. Sven Grote, who also talked about the TÜV Rheinland dialog “Human and health”, addresses the most important management myths.Read More

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How does the culture of prevention succeed?

Today, VUCA shapes the modern working world: it is subject to volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, that is what we today call digital transformation and the associated disruption. In times of VUCA, what does that mean for the health of workers and the competitiveness of the company?  This central question goes to Prof. Dr. med. Joachim E. Fischer in an interview with tr-academy.com. The Director of the Mannheim Institute for Public Health at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg sees in the “FreuSinn” – joy at work – a central factor for a healthy and motivating Leadership 4.0. In his opinion, the thesis that prevention is better than cure – is more relevant than ever.

In your opinion, how can one reconcile protecting employee health and the competitiveness of a company?

Traditionally, the culture of prevention has been meant: We protected employee health with technical measures designed to reduce exposure to risk. We have achieved an exemplary high standard in this regard. Today, digitalization has taken over the workplace and has increased the amount of knowledge work employees do. The demand for flexible, individualized solutions is increasing, especially in industrial settings. This is changing the kinds of health protection we need to provide. Averting physical risks is taking a back seat and it’s becoming more important to strengthen employees’ ability to cope with challenges. Adding to the complexity is an increasing unpredictability and uncertainty, often even contradictions, which are not exactly diminished by current political upheavals, whether it’s Brexit or American tariffs.

But people need sufficient security in order to tap their potential. The culture of prevention in the sense of using conventional health campaigns such as veggie day in the staff cafeteria, health awareness days, or healthy back training is far too short-sighted. By taking the opportunity to find out what will help employees develop their potential and thus increase the company’s competitiveness is often good for their overall mental health. The aim here is to find the best possible intersections: this is at the heart of the new “culture of prevention.”

You see having a sense of joy (“FreuSinn”) as a central factor of the culture of prevention in the sense of a healthy and motivating Leadership 4.0. What exactly do you mean by this?

Originally, it was out of pure scientific curiosity that we asked more than 20,000 people whether they look forward to going to work in the morning when they wake up and whether their work helps them see their lives as meaningful. We were quite surprised when those employees who could fully agree with both statements were healthier, even down to biological markers, and described themselves as more effective. We decided to name this phenomenon “FreuSinn.” Obviously it is joy, not fun, and experiencing the job as meaningful is vital to these people. It is close to what others have described as “flow.” And we know from neurobiological research that the frontal lobe of the brain is particularly active when these conditions are active. It is in the frontal lobe where we think, decide, invent, judge, plan. In other words, exactly those things today’s knowledge-based economy and society need.

If a company’s ability to create value increasingly depends on employees’ using the frontal lobes of their brains and not shutting that aspect of their humanity down when they cross the entrance gates, then it is up to managers at all levels of the hierarchy to create the conditions for more joy and meaningfulness at work. This does not necessarily make the management task any easier, because there are no simple formulas to follow. Sometimes it might involve simplifying disruptive processes. It might be allowing certain people to work from home or it might involve firing people that are disrupting the team with their poisonous attitudes. An important task in this regard is to cushion the ubiquitous uncertainty credibly, whether it is uncertainty caused by fixed-term contracts (like we have in research) or the uncertainty caused by turbulent markets. And because many people react more irritably under stress and with increasing exhaustion, taking care of the workplace atmosphere day in, day out becomes all the more important.

We recently evaluated data from a representative study conducted by the German Labor Ministry, which included both an internationally used scale for mental well-being and a scale for measuring enthusiasm, commitment, and passion for work. The results showed that 40% of employees are both committed and engaged in their work and also mentally healthy. So a job that keeps you healthy has long been a real possibility. Empirical data from several studies even agree that people who voluntarily work longer and feel useful have longer lives. Managers must therefore ask themselves how they can increase the sense of joy and meaningfulness at work both today and in the future tomorrow from their own strength without extensive training. Whether it’s city cleaning, nursing care for the elderly, working the assembly line, or in an architecture firm. We know companies in every industry that can do this. They have low absenteeism rates, and they generate great added value with their work. Almost nothing has a more lasting effect than genuine sincere recognition for good performance. And not in the form of a bonus payment at the end of the year, but with a grateful handshake immediately.

We have collected our own data to compare the effects of convention health campaigns with that of creating a sense of joy and meaningfulness at work. While 10% healthier behaviors only contribute 1% to employee health and just over half a percent to productivity, 10% more joy and a sense of meaning bring about 5% more productivity. It’s no wonder why SAP’s Business Health Culture Index, where half the questions measure the quality of leadership and support, has become a significant internal key performance indicator for SAP. PWC calculated on SAP’s behalf that a 1% improvement in the Business Health Culture Index translates into €65-75 million more profit. This is no secret; it has been published online in SAP’s annual report. Anyone who thinks conventional health campaigns will be enough will, in the long run, not be able to exploit the full potential of holistic health management.

What opportunities do you see in bargaining agreements that can’t be solved by the healthcare system?

The healthcare system is excellent when it comes to treating acute illnesses with clear medical causes and treatment options. However, the healthcare system is not at all equipped to maintain employees’ ability to work and create value. If, for example, employees are so mentally restricted that, although they still function day-to-day and aren’t in need to psychiatric hospitalization, they will no longer be able to work in a way that creates value. We have to define a new culture of prevention. Our healthcare system only offers waiting times and no solutions. So there is a gap between conventional, technical health protection measures and the healthcare system which is yearning for healthcare that includes psycho social aspects. This applies to a wide range of potential offerings aimed at the individual, such as family assistance in problem situations such as caring for relatives, early intervention in cases of pain or psychological complaints, and meaningful attempts at making working hours or locations more flexible.

But this affects especially how we design work, that is, the conditions under which people work. Whereas the focus was once on emissions, noise, dangers, and lighting, it’s the psycho social impact and mental noise that we now need to get under control. What gets forgotten in all these risk assessments is that the mind also benefits from resources that will help it to overcome challenges. So it’s not just a question of reducing burdens and averting dangers. Unlike the technical prevention of risks, the most important thing for the mind is that which strengthens it. You can’t avert the cancer risk from asbestos through your mood. But you can solve a big task together as a team and what remain are the sense of achievement and the certainty and confidence of being able to solve the next problem together again, too.

When I was a child, Esso gas stations used to advertise with the “tiger in the tank.” The “tiger in the tank” for value creation is increasing the experience of joy and meaningfulness at work. The cover story of the current issue of Harvard Business Review is: “When work has meaning: how to turn purpose into performance.”

Professor Fischer, thank you for speaking with us.

Highly Qualified Employees for Biopharmaceutical Industry

To ensure patients a gentle, effective and at the same time efficient treatment,  research-driven pharmaceutical companies need to develop, improve and launch qualitatively outstanding therapies and pharmaceuticals. Experts with relevant qualifications are required to provide the clinical trials and approval studies at doctor’s surgeries and in hospitals: e.g. study nurses and study assistants. They ensure, that trials and studies run competently and according to the clinical validation plan. Training institutions like PAREXEL Academy provide the aspiring specialists both, the know-how and the tools they can apply in clinical research practice.

TÜV Rheinland Academy cooperates with PAREXEL

From left to right: Carsten Kleinert, Prof. Dr. Ulf Schneider (PAREXEL International), Enrico Rühle, Siegfried Schmauder (TÜV Rheinland)

Cooperation to meet the growing needs of biopharmaceutical industry

PAREXEL International and TÜV Rheinland Academy & Life Care have entered into discussions regarding a possible cooperation in respect of building global standards for education and training in the field of Clinical Research. The cooperation aims to deliver tailored, meaningful and effective education and training programs to meet the increasing global demand for professionals in the biopharmaceutical industry and build a sustainable talent pipeline. Therefore, Prof. Dr. Ulf Schneider, PAREXEL International, and Enrico Rühle, TÜV Rheinland Academy & Life Care, had plan to cooperate in training business a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”). By concluding this MoU, both parties expressed their intention to explore the possibility of a cooperation its terms and conditions further.

Key issues of the co-operation between PAREXEL and TÜV Rheinland

As key issues have been defined:

  1. to explore the possibility of a co-operation in respect of offering and marketing trainings in the field of Clinical Research on a global scale by using both parties’ expertise.
  2. to co-operate in defined education and training areas, e.g.:
    • roll-out of PAREXEL Academy programs delivered at selected TÜV Rheinland Academy’s locations Germany, Greater China, South Korea, Japan, and further locations in Europe and South America.
    • set up of both, joint full-time and part-time certificate programs, and degree programs with established university partnerships.

 

Further more, the coooperation includes:

  • to use TÜV Rheinland Integrated Learning Management System (ILMS).
  • to market defined portfolio and use as recruitment instrument.
  • to implement an online job portal to place graduates and build a constant talent pipeline.

 

As the first action points have been defined:

  • to offer Site Staff Trainings in the field of Clinical Research at selected locations of TÜV Rheinland Academy in Germany.
  • to roll-out a joint „Nursing School“ program with a pilot in Poland with the perspective of expanding program offer in Eastern Europe.
  • to implement TÜV Rheinland ILMS into the PAREXEL learning environment.

 

About PAREXEL

PAREXEL International is a leading global biopharmaceutical services organization, providing a broad range of expertise-based contract research, consulting, medical communications, and technology solutions and services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts, PAREXEL operates in 80 locations with more than 15,000 employees in 50 countries. In Germany alone, the company employs more than 1,600 people.
PAREXEL Academy offers professionals training courses, workshops, and conferences at national and international levels since 2001.

1. Kongres Gospodarki Senioralnej w Warszawie

Demographic Change in Poland Places New Demands on Society

The first congress of the Polish senior citizens economy created a new model for private and public investment in services for the elderly.

On October 29, 2014, the first congress of the so-called “silver economy” took place in Poland. The topics included:

  • Demographic change and new economic challenges.
  • Options for financing programs for senior citizens.
  • New construction and modernization of senior citizen housing and residences.

The congress was organized by the Forum for Economic Development & Entrepreneurship and hosted by the National Institute of Economics and the Adam Smith Center.

The first congress of the Polish senior citizens economy created a new model for private and public investment in services for the elderly. Congress participants rated the potential of the industry and its importance to the national economy, especially for the labour market. Services for seniors open up new employment opportunities in small and medium-sized centers that are now threatened by depopulation and chronic unemployment among young people and people aged 50+.

In addition to a presentation program, the event provided discussions on various topics. As part of the topic “Labour Market, Training and New Training Facilities for Professionals” Ursula Taege from TÜV Rheinland Academy in Germany presented the German education system of the nursing profession as well as the Professional Academy for Nursing at TÜV Rheinland. Anna Konewecka from TÜV Academy Polska shared experiences from the project “Education of Nursing Assistants with Personal Certification”. In this project, the academy in Poland trained Polish experts in 24-hour-care in Germany on behalf of temporary employment agencies. Further training for nursing staff is under preparation.

Columbian Academy for Occupational Safety in the Mining Industry

The Colombian mining industry has grown at a fast pace during the past decade. In our times, Colombia is an important player in the world mining industry as a producer of high quality minerals.

Working conditions in the mining industry are hard. In order to protect the miners and avoid accidents, the government has enacted an extensive set of regulations which also include guidelines for dealing with vehicles for the transport of raw materials as well as the operators of cranes of all kinds as well as other lifting devices. The operators of mines are legally obliged to provide their employees, who are involved in the relevant tasks, with the appropriate training and to verify such training.

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TÜV Rheinland offers essential expertise for training and education. Our experts in Columbia train mine workers in the safe driving with off-road trucks with all-wheel drive and educate crane operators. Training content includes the following:

  • Defensive driving in high mountains (16 course units)
    • Defensive driving in industrial and mining environments
    • Movement of the vehicle on difficult terrain or high risk areas

Objectives: Participants learn about their own abilities and how to assess the vehicle safely as well as how to identify risks and avoid them.

  • Safety course for operators and lifting operations with bridge cranesand gantry cranes, rigging applications and critical evaluation oflifting.

Objectives: To provide theoretical and practical knowledge for the safe and efficient overhead cranes, gantry cranes and its relationship to good use rigging (slings, slings, shackles, eyebolts, turnbuckles, lifting equipment and other) operatinguserequired.

The certification of lifting equipment and qualification of their operators by an independent third party ensures that both equipment and operators dedicated evaluated by qualified personnel for this task. At present, companies around the world, aware of this need and are looking for a CA Ernst and support for this type of work required.

Training of Elderly People Staff for Germany in Poland

TÜV Rheinland Polska trains Elderly Care Staff

Certified Nursing Assistants from Poland for Germany

The TÜV Akademia Polska in Poland qualifies nursing assistants for employment in Germany. The program takes 200 hours and terminates with the TÜV Rheinland audited qualification “care assistant / nursing assistant in elderly care”. Last year 48 people were trained. By the end of 2014, 150 nursing assistants will be qualified. The course for registered geriatric nurse is in preparation.

Anna Konewecka, TÜV Akademia PolskaInterview with Anna Konewecka,
responsible for training business in Poland

What motivated you to go into this whole new field of study?

Polish employment agencies regularly send staff to German households. They close the supply gap in home care and provide 24-hour all-round support in the familiar environment of care.
The placement is subjected to strict legal regulations. To obtain the Polish permissions of operating and staff dispatching from an employment agency, a variety of state requirements is necessary, including evidence of an actual qualification as requested by the destination country. The Polish Confederation of Temporary Work Agencies (ZAPT) therefore looked in June 2011 for a recognized training program in Germany. Our concept is based on the curriculum of the German nursing course and convinced the ZAPT.

How proceeds the Nursing Assistant training in Poland?

Since our participants – there are women to 100% – are already active nursings in Germany and come every few months to Poland, we had to adjust the German program. 120 hours are for self-study to complete 80 hours in a classroom setting. German language skills must be demonstrated before the training begins. The training terminates with a PersCert exam. The cost for training are covered by the Polish employment agencies.

How proceeded the adaptation of the training concept designed from Germany?

Upon receipt of the request of the ZAPT in June 2011, we immediately got initial information of the training courses offered in Germany via the EVP team. One week later, a kick-off meeting took place in Berlin. In the next three weeks we created the concept for the Polish program and the examination regulations with the assistance of the subsidiary Berlin-Spandau and PersCert TÜV. On this basis we were able to submit a concrete tender to ZAPT, which was confirmed in September 2011. The road then was very painstaking because unlike the welding expert or SCC training, a takeover and translation of German training materials were not possible for copyright reasons. We only had the curriculum framework and guidelines for practical training for a re-development. Therefore we searched for professionally competent partner and trainer in Poland that enabled us to develop tailor-made materials in Polish language. Thus it was difficult because there is not (yet) a nursing education as in Germany available in Poland. We got help from employees of hospices, experienced nurses who worked in geriatric care or as a dietitian at a hospital and also from product management in Cologne and Krefeld help.

What was the main benefit of the access to the new market for you?

We demonstrated that we can build a new market field very quickly in high quality. This motivated our internal colleagues, but above all impressed our customers. Since the ZAPT organized companies are not only dispatching nurses the cooperation is now being extended to other topics.

We were able to build valuable contacts with experts, opinion leaders and decision makers in Poland. The number of people needing care is increasing also in our country, so that there could be soon the same structures and need for training like in Germany. We are well prepared.

The next challenge will be the establishment of training of geriatric nurse. At present, we check the market together with the colleagues of the German Academy.

Nurses also from other countries are in action in Germany. Other subsidiaries of TÜV Rheinland could benefit from our previous achievements and experiences. The TÜV Polska Akademia has secured the copyright for all developed training materials. Therefore a transfer of the documents into other countries is easily possible.

Last but not least our training programs in nursing help us fulfill our strategic goals. Alongside the expansion of nursing courses we are currently working on the establishment of Microsoft training in the Polish market. The first training will take place in March. The feedback for our first recently completed training of “Welding Expert (TÜV)” was very positive. New incoming orders are already received. Additionally we are planning this year training on new topics in technology.