Archive for: November, 2010

Hmmm…needlestick…let’s get the patient to pay for some of the cost

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

Sometimes I am forced to assume my angry safety officer persona.

A reader wanted to know, in the event of an accidental needlestick, if it was okay to charge the cost of the source patient’s blood tests to insurance.

This is one thought process that shows what is wrong with healthcare in the United States.

Read the rest of this entry »

Physician organization joins the mandatory flu shot list

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

The American College of Physicians (ACP) updated its position on flu vaccinations for healthcare workers, reports the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC).

“Vaccinating HCW [healthcare workers] against influenza represents a duty of care, and a standard of quality care, so it should be reasonable that this duty should supersede HCW personal preference,” according to the ACP Policy on Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Workers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ten years of protecting healthcare workers from needlestick infections

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

It has been a decade since the passage of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, which seeks to protect nurses and healthcare workers from being hurt by needles and other sharp objects that could carry bloodborne infections

On November 4, a briefing hosted by the American Nurses Association discussed the effectiveness of the legislation and what can be done to improve the safety of healthcare workers, according to a press release.

Read the rest of this entry »

MRSA may soon be detected in less than 15 minutes

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

A new study hopes to help create a device to detect the deadly antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA in less than 15 minutes.

The study will be conducted by the California company QuantaLife, and they will partner with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) researchers.

Read the rest of this entry »

NY law makes violence against nurses a felony

By: November 8th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Handling difficult patients is expected by those going into the nursing profession, but most don’t expect to be physically attacked. Nurses are routinely spit on, kicked, shoved, and verbally abused by patients, and a recent law in New York now classifies such actions as felonies.

Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Poll: Ten years after needlestick legislation

By: November 8th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

It has been ten years since the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act went into effect (November 6, 2000). What is your opinion of this landmark legislation in the area of healthcare safety? Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

Read the rest of this entry »

ANA president played key role in landmark needlestick legislation signing; she has the pen to prove it

By: November 5th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act (NSPA)—that was November 6, 2000—I had the opportunity to do a telephone interview with Karen Daley, president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), who played an instrumental role in making needlestick prevention measures the law in U.S. healthcare.

Daley reflected on the significance of the NSPA then and its continuing importance today in protecting healthcare workers from exposures to such life-threatening diseases as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Here is part of the interview that will appear in the December issue of Medical Environment Update (MEU):

Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from the Field: Your workplace violence prevention plan is a baseball bat?

By: November 5th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

During a recent mock OSHA inspection, I asked the office manager if I could review the written workplace violence prevention plan. She walked me to the front office area and said, “We don’t need anything written down, we just get this out.” Under the receptionist counter was a baseball bat.

“Are you serious?” I said in amazement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Installing hand washing sinks and dispensers

By: November 4th, 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.

Install hand washing sinks within 100 ft. of hazardous chemicals and, preferably, near laboratory exits. Keep hand washing sinks separate from sinks used for disposal of blood or bodily fluids. When separate sinks are not available, clean the sink and surrounding area with an intermediate disinfectant (e.g., 10% bleach) after each chemical biohazard/waste disposal and before allowing hand washing.

Hand-free sinks are not an OSHA requirement or a CDC recommendation, but many facilities have installed hands-free sinks to improve ease of use and compliance. However, these sinks are expensive, and facilities usually need to prioritize their placement.

Read the rest of this entry »

Disposing of extra costs in regulated medical waste contracts

By: November 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Getting down and dirty in knowing your regulated medical waste (RMW) generation and disposal needs is the best way of making sure you’re getting good value for your disposal bucks. Here are some tips from Wes Sonnier, president of BioMedical Waste Solutions in Port Arthur, TX:

Read the rest of this entry »

OSHA 2010 FY inspection stats: Increase for medical practices, drop for dental practices

By: November 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

It appears that as far as inspections go, federal OSHA is keeping the heat on medical practices while easing up on dental practices.

OSHA’s 2010 fiscal year (FY) for inspections ended September 30. The day after, the agency made available inspection dates by type of business.

Citations to medical practices (light blue bars) increased by 10% compared to last FY, while the number of citations issued to dental practices (dark blue bars) dropped by almost 30%.

Read the rest of this entry »

Test your safety IQ: Regulated medical waste, N95 use for H1N1, hazard communication, scent-free workplace, and paying for the HBV titer

By: November 3rd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

This is a sample of the simple questions covering practical safety information from the November issue of Medical Environment Update. Each issue includes a quiz to test your understanding of articles, standards, and guidelines covered in that issue, or serves as a discussion starter in your next employee or safety committee meeting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Subscribe - Get blog updates via e-mail

  • test
  • HCPro Broadcast Events Calendar

hcpro.com