Archive for: May, 2010

Tufts Medical Center signs agreement with OSHA to pay $5,000 after failure to track nurse injuries

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

Tufts Medical Center will pay $5,000 in fines after an OSHA investigation found the medical center did not keep adequate documentation to track injuries to nurses, according to a Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) press release.

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Avoid vegetable bins for vaccine storage

By: May 20th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Many medical practices use small household refrigerators to store vaccines and the space in vegetable bins might look like an inviting area for storage.

The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC), however, discourages storing vaccines in the vegetable bin section of a refrigerator because of the higher risk of temperature variation as the bins are usually located next to the motor.

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Am I being too picky? Proper glove usage during specimen collection

By: May 20th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I work with non-medical personnel who collect urine and blood samples at various sites out in the community. What is the best way to reduce the possibility of disease transmission when placing samples into plastic bags for transportation back to the clinic? I have suggested that they open the plastic bag , then put on gloves and use gloved hands to place the specimen inside. I then think removing the gloves and closing the plastic bag and performing hand hygiene would be best practice. Their supervisor disagrees.

How do they safely close the bag and attach “clean” paperwork to the outside of the bag?

They currently close the bag and attach the paperwork with the possibly contaminated gloved hands. Am I being too picky?

A: My first thought when I received this question was that she was indeed being way too picky. So I asked Dennis Ernst from the Center for Phlebotomy Education for an answer and he said:

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Nine facilities share their approach to infection prevention improvement

By: May 19th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

After a recent report from the Illinois Department of Public Health left a number of hospitals in the Chicago area with unfavorable infection control rates, the hospitals cited in the report did what many facilities have done before: revamp their programs.

The Illinois Hospital Report Card and Conusmer Guide to Public Health allows public access to data from specific facilities, including HAI rates.

Nine hospitals in the Chicago area were marked with red arrows in 2009, indicating their central line-associated bloodstream infection rates were statistically significantly worse than the national average. The Chicago Tribune spoke with those hospitals to find out what was being done to address the issue.

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Ask the expert: Annual TB chest X-ray

By: May 19th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: Must the employer provide an annual chest X-ray for a worker who has a positive TB skin test?

A: No, annual chest radiography is not required, according to Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, 2005.

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CDC studies exposure to antimicrobial chemicals in healthcare

By: May 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Occupational exposures to antimicrobial pesticides such as sterilizers, disinfectants, and sanitizers are known to cause adverse health effects, and the CDC has published a study of exposure incidents occurring in healthcare settings.

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Safety group surveys healthcare on injection practices

By: May 18th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

With the subject of unsafe injection practices continuing to appear in headlines,  the Premier Safety Institute is conducting a nation-wide survey on current practices when administering parenteral and injectable medications.

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OSHA conducts review of bloodborne pathogens standard

By: May 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

If you’ve ever had any suggestion on what OSHA should do with its Bloodborne Pathogens standard, your time has arrived.

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Weekly poll: Escaping OSHA fines

By: May 17th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Last week’s post unveiled the “Groucho Marx” method of OSHA operations after a Minneapolis Veteran’s Affairs facility was inspected in September and found to have 32 serious, four repeat, and one non-serious violation. All told the violations totaled exactly $0 in fines.

“Because the medical center is a federal employer, no fines are being assessed. However, if penalties were permissible, they would total $171,000,” says OSHA.

Should federal medical facilities be exempt from OSHA fines? Take our poll below and let us know.

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How healthcare reform impacts safety

By: May 14th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Ed. note: The following is an excerpt from the June issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety. To read more visit the Hospital Safety Center.

As the initial waves of the newly passed healthcare reform law begin to ripple out, safety committee members should consider how the changes could affect environment of care (EC) and occupational health concerns.

“To the extent you believe the healthcare reform law will increase the demand for services, it could certainly have the effect in the near term of straining the resources of hospitals … [and] that would affect [managers] who are overseeing the safety and health of employees,” says Bradford Hammock, partner at Jackson Lewis, LLP, a law firm in Reston, VA, where he heads the workplace safety compliance practice group.

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Ask the expert: Why a second shot for hepatitis B vaccination non-responders?

By: May 14th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: When a newly hired healthcare worker does not respond to the hepatitis B vaccination series, why do we administer it again?

A: You administer the series again because the success rate is high for a  second series and because OSHA says so.

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The Groucho Marx method of OSHA enforcement

By: May 13th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Remember the Groucho Marx quip:

“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”

Did you know that OSHA takes the same approach with federal employers?

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