Archive for: December, 2010

Lifting hazards in ambulatory settings

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

Ambulatory settings present just as many challenges as inpatient or long-term care settings, such as patient lifting or repositioning. The frequency of risky activities are far fewer, but they still exist.

Remember the following key tips to avoid injuries from lifting:

  • Never assist or transfer patients when you’re off balance
  • Lift loads close to the body
  • Never lift alone; use team lifts or mechanical assistance • Limit the number of allowed lifts per worker per day
  • Avoid heavy lifting with spine rotation
  • Know when and how to use mechanical assistance, if necessary
  • Remember that preventing a patient from falling or lifting a fallen patient increases the risk of a musculoskeletal injury

Take measures to prevent patient falls by checking that corridors are clear of obstacles and patient areas have adequate lighting. Remove rugs or carpets with loose ends. Also, check that wheels on chairs are locked when assisting a patient in sitting or getting up, and provide a proper step stool to help patients get on or off of examining tables.

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from Healthcare Ergonomics Training Video. Click here to view this and other excerpts on the video clip page.

California ASC closes for infection control violations

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

Violations in infection control caused an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) in Lodi, CA, to temporarily shut down for two days while the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted a survey.

Proper documentation was one of the issues found in The Lodi Outpatient Surgical Center, reported Outpatient Surgery. The center’s autoclave, which was being cleaned regularly, wasn’t being documented by employees after it was cleaned. The CMS surveyors considered this a violation because it wasn’t done.

The CMS told the center that it could either fix the problems overnight or cancel all cases until things were fixed, reported Outpatient Surgery.

In an October survey, The Lodi Outpatient Surgical Center had earned 3-year accreditation and Medicare deemed status from Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care. However, the center was chosen at random to go through the survey.

See the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Tools page for downloadable documents such as CMS compliance and risk assessments for ASCs and autoclave logs.

Weekly Poll: Accept or reject mandatory flu shots

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

With a judge finding in favor of a hospital requiring flu immunizations for all workers and against an employee who objected to the policy, what would you really do if faced with the same situation. Take the OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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California considers bill to increase hospital security

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

California hospitals are seeing an increase in safety and security after two healthcare workers were allegedly killed by patients.

A bill was proposed last week titled Assembly Bill 30, reported the Dec. 12 The Napa Valley Register, Napa Valley, CA. If passed, it will require California hospitals to take a look at its security and to do the following:

  • Adopt a violence prevention plan
  • Report attacks on personnel to law enforcement within 24 hours instead of the current 72 hours
  • Detail to the state legislature information on acts of violence at the facilities
  • Require annual safety training sessions for all hospital employees assigned to a psychiatric unit

On October 23, a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital was found dead by a patient. A nurse was attacked on October 25 at The Martinez Facility in Contra Costa County, CA, by an inmate who hit her with a lamp. She died three days later. These incidents triggered an action to ensure that safety and security would be enhanced.

Do you think Assembly Bill 30 will reduce violence and improve security in California hospitals? Let us know in our comment section.

Ask the expert: Express lanes for N95 fit testing?

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

Q: What is the OSHA standard for doing N95 fit testing on healthcare workers? I find that yearly fit testing is very expensive, time consuming, and seems like overkill. If we do a short review instead of the actual fit test, is that still compliant?

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Is a chair just a chair? Not in the lab

By: December 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.

Good office equipment should allow you protection of your health, comfort and safety in performance of your job. Ergonomics is very important. If you are sitting at a desk or lab bench all day, you must make sure you choose the right chair to protect your back. In an article in the July 2007 issue of CTD News, Alen Hedge, a professor at Cornell University’s Department of Design and Environmental Analysis, says that an ergonomic chair should have the following features:

  • Pneumatic adjustable height, so you can move the seat pan height while you are sitting on it
  • Cushioned lumbar support that can be adjusted up and down and forward and backward to fit your shape
  • Five-pedestal base to prevent tipping
  • Seat pan that is one inch wider than your hips and thighs on either side

How do you determine what model of chair is best for your lab? Bring it in for a test drive. A reputable vendor should agree to an on-site evaluation of various models. Provide a checklist or attributes desired in a chair and allow your employees to offer input as to what chair they think is best. Laboratorians know what someone in the order procession department may not (e.g., vinyl is preferred for chair upholstery because it’s more easily cleaned than fabric in the event of a body fluid spill).

Woman who filed lawsuit over flu shot voluntarily resigned

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

Remember Bertha Hunter? She was the cashier at AnMed, a hospital in Anderson, SC, who filed a lawsuit after she was forced to get a flu shot, or be fired.

She voluntarily resigned last week after learning that she had until December 15 to get the flu shot, or be fired, reported Independent Mail of Anderson, SC.

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Modern day Inspector Gadget inspects ICU for infections

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

Bright yellow gowns and purple gloves are the new fashion statement at the University of Maryland Medical Center as the hospital works on reducing the spread of infections.

Enter Infection Preventionist Michael Ann Preas, who keeps a close eye on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She and her team of other specialists keep tract of infection control practices at this Baltimore teaching hospital, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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One shot, two shot, no more annual flu shot

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

If you’re a seasonal flu-shot-getter or scared of needles, try imagining getting a flu shot once every few decades. National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists are considering designing a vaccine that can protect people from any flu virus strain for decades.

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) say that while it is possible to create such a vaccine, there are certain issues with licensing it, reported NIAID.

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APIC Film Festival deadline extended

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

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) said that due to an increased interest in submitting films for the APIC Film Festival, the deadline has been pushed from December 31, to January 31.

The APIC Film Festival is focusing on infection control and is taking place June 27-29 in Baltimore, MD.

For more information on the event, click here.

Assaults, not shootings, are the better focus for violence prevention in healthcare

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

Despite an abundance of news coverage, shootings in healthcare settings are infrequent, but other violent incidents greatly exceed the rate found in other types of workplaces, according to a commentary in the December 8 Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Needlesticks make 2011 top 10 hazard list

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

The ECRI Institute ranks needlesticks as eighth on its list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011, saying that the number of reports is staggering even with the emphasis on training and prevention during the past 20 years.

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