Archive for: September, 2010

Don’t shoot the care provider; make hospitals safer for workers

By: September 30th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Following a wealth of discussion on the John Hopkins Hospital shooting that took place a few weeks ago, The Baltimore Sun reports that according to a federal lab report, healthcare workers are four times as likely as the average American worker to encounter violence on the job. The risk is higher for those working in psychiatric or emergency units.

The article suggests that patient safety is directly linked to staff safety, and that workplace violence in hospitals is an “epidemic” that needs to be recognized by the public and remedied. The Baltimore Sun informs that healthcare workers are not only threatened by guns being brought into the facility (much of the discussion surrounding the shooting was focused on the need for metal detectors), but that a majority of staff assault is by patients who push, punch, scratch or choke.

Read the rest of this entry »

Keeping safety training fresh and mandatory

By: September 30th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition, by Terry Jo Gile. To purchase this book, click here.

Stagnation is a problem that all safety trainers face in the course of their safety program. Injuries may be reduced, workers’ compensation rates are low, and safety training is considered boring. Michael Melnik, president of Prevention Plus, Inc., in Minneapolis, says, “After a while, employees stop seeing posters, their attention fades during safety training, and incentive programs lose their punch.”

Keeping safety training fresh is crucial to compliance. Bookmark safety websites and sign up for safety e-newsletters that will keep you informed of the latest information. Start a file for each subject either on your computer or in hard copy in a drawer so that when September rolls around, you won’t have to frantically search for information.

Read the rest of this entry »

CDC issues revised guidelines for flu prevention

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

With flu season on the rise, it’s becoming more important for healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors’ offices to receive vaccination for their workers.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a series of guidelines this month with updates on controlling the influenza virus. According to the CDC, preventing the spread of the virus includes proper hand hygiene, managing sick health care workers, following all infection control safety measures, and distributing the vaccine.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Smartphone application promotes safe injection practices

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Epocrates, Inc. are launching Epocrates’ EssentialPoints®, a mobile detailing program that provides healthcare professionals with key lessons on safe injection practices conveniently and effectively on their smartphone devices.

Read the rest of this entry »

A shot in the arm for forced flu immunization argument

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

A short and to-the-point appeal for mandating flu shots for healthcare workers appeared in the September 27 Boulder Daily Camera. The editorial, which is an excerpt from one that appeared recently in the Minnesota Star Tribune, makes the case in less time than it takes to roll up your sleeve, receive the flu shot, and, hopefully, watch the needle be safely disposed—once a safety geek, always a safety geek, I suppose. Here is the editorial:

Read the rest of this entry »

BLS analyzes safety data in healthcare

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

The majority of all assaults on persons in the workplace (59%) occurred in healthcare settings in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

That is just one of the highlights from Workplace Safety and Health in the Health Care and Social Assistance Industry.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly poll: Probable OSHA violations in my facility

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

A report obtained by Medical Environment Update shows bloodborne pathogens and hazard communication as the standards most cited in inspections of medical and dental practices. Would this hold true if your practice was inspected today? Take our poll and let us know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the expert: Choosing an OSHA-compliant disinfectant

By: September 24th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: What disinfectant does OSHA recommend for protection from bloodborne pathogens?

Read the rest of this entry »

Safe use of compressed gases

By: September 23rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

The following is an excerpt from the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, Third Edition, by Terry Jo Gile. To purchase this book, click here.

George was a technologist who worked with liquid nitrogen. He was in the habit of taking shortcuts when he worked, and today was no exception. After all, he’d been a lab employee for more than 30 years and knew his way around the policies and procedures. When he noticed that the pressure- relief valve on a compressed gas cylinder had ruptured the burst disc, he solved the problem with a couple of brass plugs and went on a lunch break. When he returned, George discovered that the cylinder had exploded and shot across the room, lodging itself in a brick wall.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hand hygiene survey: Patient reminders could improve worker compliance

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

Sixty percent of healthcare workers who responded to a survey on employee hand hygiene said that patient reminders could improve hand hygiene compliance. However, nearly one-third of those same respondents also said they would not appreciate patient involvement at all.

The findings of the 10-minute survey represented the opinion of 277 randomly selected doctors and nurses, and were presented at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, which is currently underway in Boston.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the expert: HBV vaccination and immunity

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

Q: If a healthcare worker did not have titer drawn after the HBV vaccine was completed, how long afterward could we assume that he/she is a responder/nonresponder? Many titers wane after years and are no longer detectable. How do we know the worker continues to be protected?

A: If the healthcare worker did not have a titer, you must assume non-responder status according to the CDC/USPHS guidelines (See Table 3).

Read the rest of this entry »

Wiping out a surveyor’s MSDS Wite-Out mistake

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

I recently received a fairly common question with a slight twist to it. Many people wonder if common household items such as Wite-Out© need to have a material safety data sheet (MSDS) on file. Although OSHA doesn’t require an MSDS in this case, this particular person said that a Joint Commission surveyor indicated otherwise.

Read the rest of this entry »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar

hcpro.com