Archive for: October, 2010

Dead nurse raises hospital’s security concerns

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

A Napa (CA) State Hospital workers are worried about the hospital’s security policies after a nurse was allegedly murdered by a patient on October 23.

According to KGO-TV in San Francisco, Napa State is a prison hospital for the mentally ill. Nurse Donna Gross was killed in the forensics unit of the hospital, which holds the most violent and criminally insane patients. She was allegedly murdered by patient Jess Massey.

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Ask the expert: Privacy curtain cleaning

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

Q: What’s the OSHA requirement for laundering privacy or cubicle curtains in an ambulatory care setting?

A: OSHA does not have a specific requirement for laundering privacy or cubicle curtains, only that you include the frequency on your housekeeping schedule.

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To recycle, or not to recycle?

By: October 28th, 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.

Lewis worked in the accessioning area, where his main duty was to remove blood tubes from zippered bags, enter them into the computer, and place them in a rack for delivery to the appropriate instruments. He knew that the lab’s budget was tight, and he wanted to be proactive and help contain costs. Each bag had the biohazard symbol on it, and Lewis decided to start recycling the bags in an effort to contain costs. After all, they were not visibly contaminated, and reuse might save thousands of dollars for the laboratory. One day, the lab director came into the accessioning area and asked Lewis and his supervisor why there had been no biohazard bags ordered the last quarter. Lewis piped up proudly and explained what he had been doing. The lab director was shocked and directed Lewis to stop the practice at once.

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Ask the expert: Massage therapists and OSHA

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

Q: According to OSHA guidelines, are the massage therapists in our facility considered healthcare workers?

A: Compliance with OSHA standards depends not so much on either job title or business classification as on the potential for occupational exposure.

For example, take the Bloodborne Pathogen standard, which says:

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Surgical attire laundering is one of AORN’s new recommendations practices

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

The Association for Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) released its position on home laundering of scrubs. The position is part of AORN’s surgical attire recommendations.

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Four dead after Hepatitis B outbreak in assisted living facility

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

An outbreak of Hepatitis B recently led to four deaths in a North Carolina assisted living facility.

Of the five residents of Glen Care Assisted Living, Mount Olive, NC, who were infected, four residents aged 63-83 died. The only survivor, who is 57, remains in the hospital but is getting better, reported WRAL-TV of Raleigh, NC.

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Train staff on workplace safety with: A room of horrors

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

Annual OSHA training can become stale if you don’t utilize methods to elicit staff involvement and interaction. Help fulfill your annual training requirement by throwing staff members into a room of OSHA horrors.

The examples below were suggested by Kathy Rooker, safety officer and owner of Columbus Healthcare & Safety Consultants in Canal Winchester, OH. Rooker also contributes regularly to OSHA Healthcare Advisor with her “Notes from the Field” posts.

Set up an exam room with the following mock safety disasters and see whether staff members can identify all of them:

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Get the goods on office flu prevention

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

NIOSH has created a new Web page on seasonal influenza as it relates to the workplace.

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OSHA includes nursing homes on high-hazard inspection list

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

OSHA has placed nursing and personal care facilities on its list of high-hazard workplaces for inspections this year under its Site-Specific Targeting 2010 (SST-10) plan.

The SST program identifies workplaces  based on work-related injury and illness data, such as “the number of injury and illness cases and number of days a worker has to stay away from work, or the number of workers who received job transfers or work restrictions due to injury or illness,” according to an October 22 OSHA news release.

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Weekly Poll: What if the bed bugs were biting in your facility?

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

There have been more and more reports about bed bugs, even in healthcare. For example,  see Hospitals in Maine have been occupied.  With these hard to spot critters, are you concerned about bed bugs in your healthcare facility? Take our poll and let us know!

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Bedbugs on the rise in Maine healthcare facilities

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

First Maine reported on lobstermen with MRSA . Now it has a different critter on its hands; bedbugs.

An infestation of bed bugs was found in a Lewiston, ME, hospital.

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Checklists: The safety officer’s comfort blanket

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

What is it about safety officers and checklists? We love them. I never turn down the opportunity to at least scan one for relevance, and I’m sure I’m not the only one like that.

It might be that you have to possess a bit of an obsessive-compulsive personality to stay ahead of that alphabet soup of regulators and overseers, OSHA, NIOSH, EPA, NFPA, TJC, etc. And checking off every one of those boxes on the list provides some comfort or sense of accomplishment.

The quick self-inspection safety checklist in each issue of Medical Environment Update has proven to be one of the most popular features of the newsletter by providing a quick and easy way to check how your practice measures up on important occupational safety and health matters.

With this in mind, OSHA Healthcare Advisor is offering Checking In on Safety and Health: Ten Essential OSHA Checklists for Medical, Dental, and Other Ambulatory Care Settings, to help you stay in compliance with OSHA standards.

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