Archive for: September, 2010

Submit your IC video to 3M innovation YouTube contest

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

3M® has announced a new contest entitled “The 3M Innovation Award YouTube™ Contest,” asking healthcare institutions to submit a short video and/or text entry that focuses on innovative infection prevention practices.

The video can be up to three minutes and should show how your facility has transformed patient care and helped reduce HAIs to keep patients safe and healthy.

Click here to submit your video and view recent entries. Voting statrs September 27.

Weekly poll: Exposed on the exposure control plan

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

A report obtained by Medical Environment Update shows that exposure control plan issues are the most common OSHA violation among medical and dental practices. How would your exposure control plan compliance stand up to OSHA scrutiny? Take our poll and let us know.

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Ask the expert: A lot of fit-testing questions

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

Q: Where does someone get training for fit testing?  Are there different ways to do fit testing?  Can we just get something with a strong odor and see if if the person can smell it?  If someone passes the fit test, there is no guarantee that the next time they put the mask on that they would have passed.  Maybe they squeezed the nose bridge better for fit testing.  What happens if the employee does not pass the fit testing?

A: That’s a lot of questions. I’ll take then in the order in which you asked.

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Be mindful of your lab coat

By: September 16th, 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.

Your lab must provide protective clothing, face and eye protection, and respirators for staff, equipping them with protective items appropriate for the risks inherent in all tasks they perform.

Store clean laboratory coats separately from soiled items or coats that are still in use. If possible, hang in-use lab coats on hooks provided for that purpose. Place the hooks away from radiators, heating instruments, and open flames. Make sure that staff changes protective clothing whenever it becomes contaminated with a hazardous material.

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Ask the expert: How long to retain old MSDSs

By: September 16th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: How long do you have to keep MSDS files for products no longer used in the health center? I did not see that information on the Safety Recordkeeping Requirement sheet on the Tools page.

A: You don’t need to keep MSDSs for products no longer in use.

Keep in mind however that you do need to keep either the MSDS, 1910.1020(c)(5)(iii), or a “chemical inventory or any other record which reveals where and when used and the identity (e.g., chemical, common, or trade name) of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent,” 1910.1020(c)(5)(iv), according to the OSHA Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records standard.

Labeling sterile packs using a variety of methods

By: September 15th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: When it comes to labeling sterile packs, what is required? Are there different systems available other than hand writing information on each pack? What are people doing?

A: There are several systems out there including bar coding, which is one of the most recent technologies, although some surgery centers may be financially unable to implement that technology.

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CDC posts fact sheet on flu shots and healthcare workers

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

Pointing out that healthcare workers play an important role in protecting public health and their co-workers, who are essential to providing care during the flu season, the CDC recommends that all health care workers get an annual flu vaccine in “Influenza Vaccination Information for Health Care Workers.”

Posted September 12, the fact sheet presents compelling points for vaccination such as:

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Notes from the field: “Doctor, please, say no more!”

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

In addition to doing mock OSHA Inspections, I provide annual OSHA training to physicians and their staff. Last week I was in an office that did not have any safety needles, lancets, or scalpels.

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Weekly poll: False assumptions about OSHA inspections

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

A recent Ask the Expert post addressed the false assumption that small medical practices, fewer than 10 employees, are exempt from OSHA inspections and provided proof from OSHA inspection statistics. Does this misinformation still prevail in your practice? Take our poll and let us know.

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EPA wants public opinion on unused pharmaceutical disposal

By: September 10th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

EPA is requesting public comments on a draft guidance document titled Best Management Practices for Unused Pharmaceuticals at Health Care Facilities, for the study of unused pharmaceutical disposal at healthcare facilities.

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Ask the expert: OSHA inspections and small medical practices

By: September 10th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: I’m taking over OSHA compliance for our medical practice and the previous safety officer is telling everyone that OSHA will never inspect us because of our small size. I don’t believe this is true but I need proof. Can you help?

A: Here is a chart of OSHA inspections on practices for FY 2008. As you can see small practices comprised the greatest percentage of practices inspected.

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Quick look at frequent and expensive OSHA fines for medical and dental practices

By: September 9th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Every year, Medical Environment Update acquires a detailed report of OSHA citations by standard for medical (the category includes clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and various outpatient settings) and dental practices from the OSHA Office of Management Systems.  Here is an excerpt from that report.

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