Archive for: May, 2011

Possible tuberculosis exposure in Georgia hospital

By: May 31st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A tuberculosis-infected worker at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta may have exposed the almost 700 patients and 100 staff members to the disease, state health officials reported on May 27.

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Survey shows worldwide noncompliance for hand hygiene

By: May 31st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A survey distributed globally by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that nearly 50% of healthcare professionals don’t wash their hands before coming in contact with patients.

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Sterile matters: Consider stretch goals to push beyond comfort zone

By: May 31st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Stretch goals, a new trendy phrase,  have a lot merit, in my opinion.

Goals are sometimes too lofty, but in today’s challenging times within healthcare, we need a new way to concourse tough circumstances. Stretch goals just might be part of the answer.

All too often we either do not set our goals high enough, or they are set in a way to not ever be truly attainable.

Stretch goals are different and very relevant outside of the traditional business world. With healthcare currently mired in challenging circumstances, new types of goals and how we approach them is needed. They can help to combat the lack of tangible resources for less obvious skills deficits from people in critical roles and anything that can be imagined in-between these two that are plaguing our facilities.

You might be asking yourself just what stretch goals are and how you can create them?

Simply, they are goals that push a person (or an organization) to move beyond their comfort zone, but not so far that they become impossible to reach. Too often many want to either coast through the day or achieve the near impossible.

To secure great results, overall, lots of smaller successes are usually needed. It is then that a person or a group has a good foundation to build toward arger and more rewarding outcomes and wins.

Remember, creating a workplace, designing a ultimate endpoint, doesn’t happen instantly. The more individual pieces of the whole that begin to align, through stretching slightly past your comfort level, the more you are augmenting your skills and becoming a better asset to your organization. That is exactly when real successes become possible.

Ask the expert: MSDS replacement frequency

By: May 31st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: How often must we replace MSDSs in our MSDS file?

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Weekly poll: Weather-related emergency action plans and evacuations

By: May 30th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The compelling reports about the evacuation of St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO, after a tornado tore through the city May 22 is a sober reminder about severe weather hazards and the need for emergency action and evacuation plans. Drills not included, has your healthcare facility ever had to actually initiate an emergency action plan or evacuate the facility due to weather-related hazards? Take our OSHA Healthcare Advisor Weekly Poll and let us know.

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New National Patient Safety Goal focuses on CAUTI prevention

By: May 27th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A new 2012 National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG07.06.01) was released by The Joint Commission that requires hospitals to apply evidence-based practices to prevent catheter-association urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

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Sources of chemical hygiene regulations

By: May 27th, 2011 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.

OSHA: Establishing a plan

You can find OSHA’s final rule for occupational exposure to hazardous chemicals in laboratories at 29 CFR 1910.1450. It requires each lab to prepare a written chemical hygiene plan and update it at least annually. The rule also mandates environmental monitoring if chemical exposure exceeds the permissible exposure limits (PEL) for any chemical used in the laboratory. It requires lab managers to keep employees well informed and trained on how to handle chemicals in their work area. Employees must receive training at the time of their initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present. Training and ongoing reminders must ensure that all employees understand the hazards associated with working with these chemicals and how to protect themselves through the use of engineering controls, work practice controls, and proper personal protective equipment (PPE). For an overview of PPE used in labs and a table showing what PPE is required for key lab tasks, see Chapter 4 in Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety – Third Edition published by HCPro. Lab management must maintain an up-to-date chemical inventory, as explained later in this chapter, and have a material safety data sheet (MSDS) on hand for reference for each hazardous chemical stored and used at the facility. For more details on what each MSDS contains and how to obtain them from chemical manufacturers, see Chapter 7.

The standard also

  • mandates a medical examination when an employee is overexposed to a chemical
  • dictates requirements for proper labeling
  • imposes recordkeeping duties to document completion of training, to update the lab’s chemical inventory, and to record information about accidents or injuries

Drinking on the job? No, just practicing hand hygiene compliance

By: May 26th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Could using alcohol-based sanitizers on your hands have the same effect as drinking a cocktail during happy hour?

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Preventing violence against ED nurses

By: May 26th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

“Imagine if every time you came to work, there was a pretty good chance you would face a threat of physical violence or verbal assault? This is an everyday experience for emergency department nurses,” writes Rebecca Hendren in her May 24 HealthLeaders Media article “ENA Aims to Prevent Violence Against Nurses.”

Hendren interviews AnnMarie Papa, RN, president of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), which is conducting a multiyear study to examine workplace violence against ED nurses.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

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Notes from the field: You don’t have an emergency action plan?

By: May 25th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Sometimes medical offices are so focused on workplace hazards like bloodborne pathogens that they forget about other areas of OSHA compliance.

Recently as I was doing one of my mock OSHA inspections, I asked the manager if I could see the office’s emergency action plan (EAP). She had no clue what I was talking about.

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New York bill would create infection prevention dress code

By: May 25th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

State legislation proposed by the Independent Democratic Conference of New York would establish an advisory board to create a dress code for healthcare workers in an attempt to reduce infections.

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Guidelines released by the CDC for infection prevention in outpatient care settings

By: May 24th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The CDC released its guidelines and recommendations for outpatient ambulatory care settings on May 17 entitled Guide to Infection Prevention in Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care.

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