Archive for: November, 2009

APIC conference updates: Pronovost’s opening remarks

By: November 19th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

No, I’m not blogging from Washington D.C. (still from the lovely confines of my cube), but APIC has made their conference, “Healthcare-associated infections: A changing legal and regulatory landscape” a hybrid event available via webcast so that interested parties that couldn’t make the trip could still tune in.

For those of you who aren’t tuning in today, I’m posting brief updates on the sessions and some of the major takaways.

The featured speaker was Dr. Peter Pronovost, a well-known medical director at Center for Innovation in Quality Patient Care, which supports quality and safety efforts at the Johns Hopkins Hospitals. He’s also a practicing anesthesiologist and critical care physician, teacher, researcher, and international patient safety leader, with too many other titles and accomplishments for me to write out before you get bored.

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Ask the expert: PPE for dental assistants

By: November 19th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Can you let me know if dental assistants are required to wear personal; protective equipment (PPE), and if so what are the options for cleaning it.

A: PPE is not based on the job title, but the hazards present. It is the employer’s responsibility to identify hazards, address those hazards in the written exposure control plan (ECP), and ensure that workers adhere to those requirements. So, first check your ECP for your facility.

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Infection Prevention Handbook offers IC guidance for new IPs

By: November 19th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

I just wanted to take a quick minute to congratulate our IC blogger Libby Chinnes, RN, BSN, for her new book, “The Infection Prevention Handbook,” which published last week.

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WHO releases updated H1N1 guidance; information on caring for TB patients

By: November 18th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Many healthcare workers have voiced a concern that escalated focus on H1N1 prevention could detract from best-practices regarding tuberculosis (TB) patients.

Now there are considerations for patients with both.

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More money means more problems for ASCs

By: November 18th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

On the heels of previous funding for CMS surveys of ambulatory surgery centers (ASC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of $9 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will go towards state survey agencies in 43 states.

But unlike most stimulus checks, this money could have non-accredited ASCs feeling a bit nervous.

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Notes From the field: Floored on sharps container location

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

Let’s play drop the clothespin into the bottle.

Those were my exact thoughts as I watched a physician as he dropped a needle and syringe into a small sharps container that was sitting on the floor.

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Weekly poll: H1N1 hype

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

When H1N1 outbreaks first emerged in April, OSHA Healthcare Advisor posted a reader poll asking whether H1N1 was a lot of hype or a legitimate concern. At that time “too much hype” won out 59% to 41%.

Now the CDC estimates between 14 and 34 million cases of H1N1 have occurred in the US since April, along with 63,000 – 153,000 H1N1-related hospitalizations.

Now that flu season is in full swing and H1N1 cases have escalated, have you changed your mind? Do you still think H1N1 is over-hyped?

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Appealing the N95 decision all the way to the top

By: November 13th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

It seems that the protest for using N95 respirators for H1N1 protection by three infection-control groups smacks of desperation. The kind of desperation that says: Yeah, we know we’re beaten on this, but we’re appealing to a higher authority, anyway.

In this case, the higher authority is President Obama.

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Ask the expert: Qualifications for a bloodborne pathogens trainer

By: November 13th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Who is qualified to train employees in bloodborne pathogens?

A: Section 1910.1030(g)(2)(viii) of the standard gives a broad answer as to whom is qualified to train in bloodborne pathogens:

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Spill kits: Assembly and function

By: November 12th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

A spill kit is a set of equipment used for the removal of chemical or microbiological material from a laboratory surface or apparatus.

Chemical Spill Kits

Locate spill kits near chemicals and make sure they are easily accessible. Check the kits on an annual basis and restock them if they are depleted. The content should be specific to the chemicals used at your facility. The kit should contain:

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Whoa there a minute; IOM stands by its N95 recommendation

By: November 12th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

There has been a lot of attention given to the retraction of an Australian study recommending fit-tested N95 respirator use over surgical and procedure masks for healthcare worker protection from H1N1. (See Authors of N95 study retract findingsOhio OKs surgical masks after N95 study retraction, and IC associations make a plea for modified H1N1 guidelines, moratorium on OSHA enforcement)

But before you “pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger,” as the folk singer advised against, it appears that the now-retracted study was not the linchpin on which the recommendation got rolling.

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IC associations make a plea for modified H1N1 guidlines, moratorium on OSHA enforcement

By: November 11th, 2009 Email This Post Print This Post

It’s no  secret that a couple national infection control associations disagree with the CDC regarding H1N1 respiratory protection. Back in June, when H1N1 outbreaks became a concern, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) was the first to recommend surgical masks over N95 respirators.  The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has also advocated for surgical masks.

But just because the CDC released their final recommendations, doesn’t mean these organizations are backing down just yet. SHEA, IDSA, and APIC have issued a letter to President Obama urging the federal government to modify the guidelines and put a moratorium on OSHA enforcement of the current H1N1 guidelines.

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