Archive for: July, 2009

The evolution of the infection preventionist

By: July 22nd, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

There is little doubt the role of infection preventionists (IP) is becoming more important and more diverse as dangerous infections evolve and infiltrate our nation’s hospitals.

But it’s also a role that is new for many healthcare sectors, especially the ambulatory care sector, where CMS Conditions for Coverage now require ambulatory surgery centers to appoint a trained professional in charge of the infection prevention program. In other facilities like long-term care, or long term acute care (LTACs), the IP position is in place, but may be divided among numerous other responsibilities such as supervisor, staff educator, employee health coordinator, etc. Therefore, IPs in any setting must be given the proper training, time, and resources to do the job.

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Ask the expert: Refusing the hepatitis B vaccination

By: July 21st, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Under OSHA, may an employee refuse the hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine?

A: Yes, but the employer must first provide HBV vaccine information about its efficacy, safety, and method of administration, as well as the benefits of being vaccinated, and explain that the vaccination will be offered free of charge.

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CDC says take these 10 steps to prepare your medical office for flu

By: July 21st, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Nothing beats a top-10 list for disseminating information that readers would otherwise gloss over. Why even this blog has resorted to this decimalization practice on occasion.

Recently, the CDC added to the wealth of novel influenza H1N1 information with “10 Steps You Can Take: Actions for Novel H1N1 Influenza Planning and Response for Medical Offices and Outpatient Facilities.” Facilities covered by this CDC guidance include doctor offices, outpatient/ambulatory clinics, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care centers, physical therapy/rehabilitation offices or clinics, and offices that provide psychological, dental, pediatric, chiropractic and other clinical services.

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Weekly Poll: Pandemic communication

By: July 20th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

A blog post from last week focused on a California hospital where employees have appealed to Cal/OSHA claiming the hospital is miserly about providing N95 respirators and inadequately isolating suspected H1N1 patients.

This potential struggle brings up a legitimate question for any medical facility preparing for the upcoming flu season: Have you communicated your pandemic and respiratory plans to your employees?

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It’s a lab, not a library

By: July 17th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Is there an OSHA regulation concerning employees bringing reading material (novels, textbooks) into the lab and then taking it out at the end of the shift?

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OSHA Watch—General duty clause, hazardous drug list, and respirators in the pandemic influenza plan

By: July 17th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

The  July-Aug. 2009 issue of  OSHA Watch updates your Quality America Safety Program manual to keep you in compliance with recent changes in the general duty clause, the NIOSH hazardous drug list, and respirator safety as a component of the pandemic influenza plan.

A recent OSHA revision to the Field Operations Manual, the bible for how compliance safety and health officers conduct inspections, has broadened the scope for the general duty clause in the area of recognizing hazards.

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One IC training Webcast down, two to go

By: July 16th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Yesterday bloggers Peg Luebbert and Libby Chinnes presented in the first of three Webcasts in the Infection Prevention Core Training Bundle.

This first Webcast addressed MDROs including MRSA and CA-MRSA, VISA, VRSA, VRE, C. diff, acinetobacters, and ESBLs. Lubbert and Chinnes focused specifically on prevention and control of these MDROs, proper contact precautions, isolation procedures, treatments, cleaning procedures, and how to recognize high risk patients.

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In your face on flu facemask protection

By: July 16th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

There is a nasty situation brewing for a California hospital because workers and management don’t see eye-to-eye—better make that face-to-face—on protection from pandemic influenza.

Nurses at Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo, CA, have appealed to Cal/OSHA saying the hospital is miserly about providing N95 respirators and is inadequately isolating suspected novel influenza A H1N1 patients, reports the Times Herald, July 15.

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Abortion clinic feels the brunt of Vegas aftermath

By: July 15th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Not long after last year’s alleged unsafe injection practices in Las Vegas, which left a lasting impact on future IC practices in Nevada, another Vegas facility is feeling the brunt new IC regulation.

On July 7 the  Las Vegas abortion clinic Clinica de Mujeres, owned by Dr. Vicki Mazzorana, was ordered to cease operations for allegedly performing surgeries without a license, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

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It’s official; CA adds ATD standard

By: July 15th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

As an update to a previous post, the California aerosol transmissible disease (ATD) standard becomes effective August 5 when the it will be added to the California Code of Regulations as Title 8, section 5199, according to a July 7 Cal/OSHA news release.

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Notes from the field: The sound of no hands washing

By: July 14th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Last week as I was doing a mock OSHA inspection I saw several employees standing by the restroom door listening to the activities going on in the restroom.

As I tried to control my response to this comical picture, I whispered the question “why are you standing outside this door?”

The response: they were listening to see if this very prominent physician washed his hands before coming out of the restroom.

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Thanks for taking our survey; five visitors win free training video

By: July 14th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Thanks to all the OSHA Healthcare Advisor visitors who participated in our getting-to-know-you survey. We were pleased with number of respondents representing a wide variety of healthcare facilities and sizes.

Five respondents were randomly selected and have been contacted about receiving free the Respiratory Safety for Healthcare Workers: Prevent Exposure to Airborne Infections.

The winners are:

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