Author Archive for: Medical Environment Update

Puncture brings needlestick safety to the public eye

December 7th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The film Puncture offers a mainstream medium for needlestick safety versus manufacturers and purchasing groups, and is the focus of the December issue of Medical Environment Update.

Here is an excerpt:

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OSHA, GPOs, and safety devices

December 7th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

With the film Puncture and its indictment against group purchasing organizations (GPO) being  featured in the December issue of Medical Environment Update, what does OSHA have to say on the potential conflict between identifying the best safety devices and not being able to acquire them because of purchasing contracts?

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Vital stats: Hollywood and healthcare hazards

December 6th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The film “Contagion,” released this fall and still showing in theaters, addresses the devastation caused by a pandemic. OSHA Healthcare Advisor asked readers whether the movie would affect how healthcare do their jobs.

Most respondents thought that raising awareness, even through Hollywood hype, was a good thing.

Here are the results:

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Ask the expert: The hidden sharps disposal container

December 1st, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: We have only one sharps container used only for tuberculin skin tests. We keep it in a cabinet above a sink and always set it on the counter before performing the test. Is it okay to continue storing the container there, or does it need to be wall mounted?

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OSHA new directives on workplace violence whistleblower investigations apply to healthcare facilities

November 7th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Two recently issued documents by OSHA come from the W section of the index of occupational safety and health regulations: workplace violence prevention and whistleblower investigations were the focus of  November issue of Medical Environment Update. While both documents are intended for use by OSHA inspectors, awareness on the part of safety officers could lead to better compliance and the avoidance of inspections in the first place.

Here is an excerpt:

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Ask the expert: MSDS files and hazardous substance list

November 4th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: If we already have a paper MSDS file, must we also have the list of hazardous substances?

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Vital stats: Reacting to flu shot resisters

November 3rd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

A CDC report shows that overall seasonal influenza coverage among healthcare workers has not changed much in the past two years, despite support from nearly all healthcare organizations and an increasing number of facilities making immunization a condition of employment. OSHA Healthcare Advisor asked readers for their reactions to colleagues who resist mandatory flu shot policies.

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Needlestick hazards in nonhospital settings? Better believe it

October 10th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Despite the volume and complexity of procedures, ­hospitals don’t have a monopoly on needle­stick and sharps injuries suffered by healthcare workers. In the October issue of Medical Environment Update, healthcare safety experts show how hazards are present, injuries happen, and OSHA compliance is low in nonhospital settings. 

Here is an excerpt:

A needlestick is a needlestick is a needlestick
Not too far into her part of the “Achieving Sharps Safety Compliance in Non-Hospital Healthcare Settings,” presentation, Elise M. Handelman, RN, MEd, an occupational and environmental health consultant who worked in OSHA for nearly 20 years, quoted from OSHA’s Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens:

Where engineering controls will reduce employee exposure by removing, eliminating, or isolating the hazard, they must be used.

And that applies to nonhospital settings, period, Handelman added.

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Myths on needlestick safety noncompliance

October 10th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

As part of the “Achieving Sharps Safety Compliance in Non-Hospital Healthcare Settings” August 8 Web conference, Pamela Dembski Hart, CHSP, BS, MT(ASCP), principal consultant for Healthcare Accreditation Resources, LLC, in Holliston, MA, debunked the five most common myths in healthcare facilities that supposedly excuse noncompliance with the part of the Bloodborne Pathogens standard amended by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act.

Here is the first one.

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Ask the expert: Scalpel blade removal

September 29th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: If our facility does not use disposable safety scalpels, is it okay to remove the blade by hand?

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A quick look at frequent and expensive OSHA fines, July 2010 to June 2011

September 11th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Medical Environment Update acquired a detailed report of citations by standard for medical practices (which include clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and various outpatient settings) and dental practices from the OSHA Office of Management System, from July 2010 through June 2011. Here is an excerpt.

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Medical Environment Update, September 2011—Come and get it: Fresh data on OSHA violations

September 11th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The September issue of Medical Environment Update reports frequent and expensive OSHA fines for medical and dental practices last year.

Here is an excerpt from that article:

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