Fall 2020 Journal
A standard feature, the Editor’s Column provides commentary from the current Journal Editor, Kim Stanchfield, RN, COHN-S. In this issue, she reflects on her inspiration and encouragement to keep doing the work that needs to be done during this complicated flu season during a pandemic – one employee’s grateful “Thank you!”
Staying Current on Government Affairs
In his Journal column, Stephen Burt, MFA, BS, AOHP Government Affairs Committee Chair, provides analysis of recent government affairs activities. For this issue, he examines foreseeable changes to OSHA under the Biden administration, including creation of an emergency temporary standard for COVID-19, finalizing a permanent infectious disease standard, and restoring the original electronic reporting rule.
Association Community Liaison Report
This regular Journal article details how AOHP is gaining visibility as an expert regarding occupational health issues. In this edition, author Bobbi Jo Hurst, BSN, RN, MBA, COHN-S, SGE, provides a reflection on the critical importance of occupational health professionals in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and the benefits afforded by AOHP’s collaborative relationships with OSHA, NIOSH, and the CDC.
Perspectives in Healthcare Safety
Cory Worden, PhD(ABD), MS, CSHM, CSP, CHSP, ARM, REM, CESCO, shares his insights on safety in healthcare in this standing column. This issue’s feature – I Wish You My Kind of Success – describes the value of occupational safety and health professionals prioritizing collaboration, emotional intelligence, and technical knowledge to create the best possible solutions that keep employees safe and healthy.
Results of AOHP Lovenox Prefilled Syringe Survey – August 2020
In an August 2020 member discussion on the AOHP Listserv, 14 members commented on needlestick injuries with Lovenox (enoxaparin sodium) prefilled syringes (Sanofi-Aventis US). In response, the AOHP Executive Board decided to conduct a member survey to gain additional insight. This article is the first in a series devoted to the results of the Lovenox Prefilled Syringe Survey and the Executive Board’s call to action in response to the findings. Authors include: MaryAnn Gruden, MSN, CRNP, NP-C, COHN-S/CM; Terry Grimmond, FASM, BAgrSc, GrDpAdEd&Tr; Bobbi Jo Hurst, MBA, BSN, RN, COHN-S; and Lydia Crutchfield, MA, BSN, RN, CLC.
Prevalence of Underlying Medical Conditions Among Selected Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers – Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 31 States, 2017–2018
Many essential workers have high potential for exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, because their jobs require close contact with patients, the public, or coworkers. The high prevalence of underlying medical conditions increases risks for severe COVID-19 illness among home health aides, other healthcare support workers, and nursing home, trucking, and transit industry workers. According to authors Sharon R. Silver, MA, MS; Jia Li, MS; Winifred L. Boal, MPH; Taylor L. Shockey, PhD; and Matthew R. Groenewold, PhD; for all essential workers, and particularly those at high risk because of underlying medical conditions, prioritization of exposure controls and healthcare access is needed to reduce the potential for SARSCoV-2 exposure and to prevent and treat underlying conditions.
Holistic, Ethical Safety: Preventing Negative Outcomes in Any Situation
Article author Cory Worden, PhD(ABD), MS, CSHM, CSP, CHSP, ARM, REM, CESCO, explores the principles of high-reliability in the safety process and the pitfalls of pigeon-holing safety into a specific silo rather than as a core theme of an organization’s culture.
Why Surveillance Informatics is an Integral Part of a Safe Patient Handling Program: Occupational Injuries Due to Patient Handling and Movement in 116 US Hospitals, Occupational Health Safety Network, 2012-2016
Workplace musculoskeletal injuries due to patient handling and movement (PHM) are a significant occupational hazard for healthcare workers in the United States. Study authors Ahmed Gomaa, MD, ScD; Matthew R. Groenewold, PhD, MSPH; Kelly Vanoli; Susan Nowlin; and Stacey Marovich, MHI, MS, PMP, MCTS analyzed workplace musculoskeletal injuries surveillance data submitted by 116 hospitals participating in the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) from 2012 to 2016. The detailed analysis of patient injury data showed nursing assistants, radiology technicians, and nurses are at the highest risk for injury. Improved data collection is needed to improve safe patient handling programs (SPHPs), and surveillance information is key for providing evidence on all aspects of SPHP.
The “Why”: Keeping Sight of Our Purpose to Help Others
Safety is a continual improvement cycle that hinges on leaders doing due diligence in hazard analysis, hazard control, and communication so that teammates can use the knowledge, hazard controls, and training – along with communication – to make real-time decisions that will keep all team members as safe as possible. Cory Worden, PhD(ABD), MS, CSHM, CSP, CHSP, ARM, REM, CESCO, describes how the success of the cycle depends upon dual accountability between leaders and team members to cultivate safe working conditions and safe work practices.
Seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Among Frontline Health Care Personnel in a Multistate Hospital Network – 13 Academic Medical Centers, April–June 2020
Little is known about the prevalence and features of SARS-CoV-2 infection among frontline U.S. healthcare personnel. This report documents that, among 3,248 personnel observed: 6% had antibody evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection; 29% of personnel with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were asymptomatic in the preceding months; and 69% had not previously received a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was lower among personnel who reported always wearing a face covering while caring for patients (6%), compared with those who did not (9%). A high proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infections among healthcare personnel appear to go undetected. Universal use of face coverings and lowering clinical thresholds for testing could be important strategies for reducing hospital transmission. Authors include: Wesley H. Self, MD; Mark W. Tenforde, MD, PhD; William B. Stubblefield, MD; Leora R. Feldstein, PhD; Jay S. Steingrub, MD; Nathan I. Shapiro, MD; Adit A. Ginde, MD; Matthew E. Prekker, MD; Samuel M. Brown, MD; Ithan D. Peltan, MD; Michelle N. Gong, MD; Michael S. Aboodi, MD; Akram Khan, MD; Matthew C. Exline, MD; D. Clark Files, MD; Kevin W. Gibbs, MD; Christopher J. Lindsell, PhD; Todd. W. Rice, MD; Ian D. Jones, MD; Natasha Halasa, MD; H. Keipp Talbot, MD; Carlos G. Grijalva, MD; Jonathan D. Casey, MD; David N. Hager, MD, PhD; Nida Qadir, MD; Daniel J. Henning, MD; Melissa M. Coughlin, PhD; Jarad Schiffer, MS; Vera Semenova, PhD; Han Li, PhD; Natalie J. Thornburg, PhD; Manish M. Patel, MD; CDC COVID-19 Response Team; IVY Network