Archive for: January, 2010

Hospital: No butts about it, smokers need not apply

By: January 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you are applying for work at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, TN, don’t blow literal smoke concerning your qualifications. It will get you rejected.

As part of a new hiring policy beginning February 1, the hospital will no longer hire employees who smoke or test positive for nicotine, reports the January 18 Chattanooga Pulse.

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OSHA proposes MSD check off for recordkeeping form

By: January 29th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

For businesses required to keep the OSHA Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, OSHA is proposing to add a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) check-off column. For those businesses unsure if they are required to keep the Form 300, see “Time to post your OSHA summary of injuries log…NOT.”

The rule doesn’t change the criteria for recording MSD-related injuries; it just makes the injuries easier to identify.

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Must your facility offer rapid HIV testing?

By: January 28th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

An OSHA letter of interpretation says “an employer’s failure to use rapid HIV antibody testing when testing as required by paragraph 1910.1030(f)(3)(ii)(A) would usually be considered a violation of that provision.”

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Brooms won’t sweep away infections

By: January 27th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Are we allowed to use brooms in a medical facility? Are there any restrictions or guidelines for doing so?

A: In just about any other workplace, brooms are a quick and easy way to clean up clutter or sweep away dust.

The problems with brooms however, is they may appear to “clean” an area, but they are actually just pushing dust and dirt out of the way, and spreading it around rather than eliminating it entirely.

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New Jersey bill requires ASCs to report infection rates

By: January 27th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A new and last-minute New Jersey state law requires ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) to begin reporting their infection rates to the New Jersey Health Department. The infection rates will also be made public by the state, according to the bill that was recently signed into law by outgoing New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

According to the new bill ASCs will have to use a billing form similar to what hospitals use, and meet many of the same data requirements.

One of those data requirements will be infections. ASCs in New Jersey will have to report the following to the Department of Health and Senior Services on a quarterly basis:

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Time to post your OSHA summary of injuries log…NOT

By: January 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

No doubt this past month you have read or received in your email warnings that all businesses must post the OSHA 300-A form summary of last year’s injuries by February 1.

This is not entirely correct.

If your healthcare workplace is not a hospital or nursing care facility, there is a good chance you can ignore recording or posting injuries on any OSHA log.

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College dorm study reignites N95 debate

By: January 26th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A new study has reignited the already heated debate regarding the use of N95 respirators to protect against H1N1 influenza.

The study, published in the February issue of Journal of Infectious Diseases, observed how influenza-like illnesses (ILI) were transmitted among college students in the close living quarters of a dorm. Researchers selected 1,437 students from the University of Michigan and began the study in January 2007, after the first laboratory confirmation of influenza  on campus.

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Weekly poll: Hand hygiene compliance rates

By: January 25th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Hand hygiene is a basic, but never ending effort in healthcare that often befuddles even the most inventive IP or safety officer. Some have found incentives that work such as cash incentives, gift certificates, patient education, videos, and even games.

Regardless of how you motivate employees to comply with appropriate handwashing guidelines, tracking hand hygiene is the best way to assess your facility’s compliance.

In the last year, how have your compliance rates fared?

You can also find a number of free hand hygiene downloads, including a Hand Hygiene Data Collection sheet, on the Tools page.

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Ask the expert: OSHA poster requirements

By: January 25th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What are the requirements for displaying the OSHA poster?

ImageA: OSHA requires employers to continuously display a poster prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor that informs employees of protections afforded under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

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Notes from the field: Are those “disposable” instruments in your autoclave?

By: January 22nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The last area in which I needed to look at for my mock OSHA inspection, was the lab. This was where all of the instruments were decontaminated. The medical assistant had just removed a tray of instruments from the autoclave (steam sterilizer).

As I was looking for the required chemical indicator in the load, I noticed that the instruments were definitely disposable!

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Law passed to save Jersey Shore

By: January 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Don’t get excited, or in an uproar for that matter; the headline does not protect MTV’s reality show of the same name from cancellation. It refers to New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine’s signing into law a measure to toughen the financial penalties against illegal ocean dumping.

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What to watch for when The Joint Commission surveys your lab

By: January 21st, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you’re a hospital laboratory or a stand-alone lab in a hospital system, you know the pressure of facing a Joint Commission survey every few years.

There probably aren’t a lot of hospitals out there that are willing to share their survey results, but fortunately Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) isn’t one of them. There are a number of lab-related standards, but MGH – which covers 30 lab testing sites – has posted their entire survey findings on their Web site. This may be helpful for those anticipating a survey in the coming year, particularly since it gives you a peek into what the Joint Commission will expect.

Listed below are some of the lab-specific standards that were cited during the hospital’s 2009 survey:

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