On March 26th, Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, declared a public health emergency. It appeared, as of that date, 81 people had tested positive for HIV. All appeared to be linked to injection drug use. Without the executive order issued, the additional resources and services to curb the outbreak would not have been possible.
It is a growing issue in rural communities, drug abuse. Often due to the unemployment and underemployment rates, the socio-economic make up of a rural community and the lack of drug abuse counseling and other resources, the problem breeds like a bad infection. In this case, that infection is HIV. Read more
My heart skipped a few beats last week when I read about the potential outbreak resulting from a lack of safe infection control measures in a doctor’s office in Santa Barbara County. Things had been going fairly smoothly in regard to safe injection practices. In 2014, none of the investigations which took place found any disease transmissions. In fact, we had not had an investigation over the last six months and although we never stop educating and spreading awareness, we were able to breathe a small sigh of relief. Read more
On March 3rd, the India Times reported an incident where 59 children were injected with the same syringe and needle while being administered an antibiotic. This not only highlights the many issues surrounding the state-run hospitals there, but also illustrates the point we, at HONOReform, have been helping to bring to light.
HONOReform is a proud member of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition. Led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the SIPC developed and distributes the award-winning One and Only Campaign materials (“One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time”). The One & Only Campaign is a public health campaign to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices. There are many, many resources designed for healthcare providers – posters, videos, brochures, checklists, continuing education opportunities and guidance for infection prevention specific to injection safety. There are resources tailored for specific situations such as dentistry and diabetes care.
While we applaud the efforts of our colleagues and stand beside them, we also must note that materials designed for patients seem, at this stage, inadequate. Currently, this is the core document developed by SIPC to be used specifically for outreach to patients: Patient Brochure.Read more
In healthcare, it’s all about saving lives, right? But what happens when it’s about saving the lives of those who are usually the ones caring for the patients? In the case of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, it is truly about saving lives as well as caring for their peers. Thanks to their health and wellness series, they are bringing awareness through education as well as teaching their members to look past themselves while gaining a better care for all. Thanks to their peer assistance program, it is much easier for nurse anesthetists to help one another. Read more
Once a year, we take some time from our daily work to reflect on what we accomplished throughout the year and set s ome goals for the upcoming year. We are so grateful to you, our fellow advocates, for your steadfast support of injection safety. Below is HONOReform’s End of Year Report, 2014.
Our Mission and Vision
HONOReform is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting patients through safeguarding the medical injection process “from manufacturing to disposal.” Our vision is a nation in which health care providers always follow fundamental injection safety practices that are designed to protect all patients each nd every time they receive an injection.
HONOReform International Debut
HONOReform representatives, including Evelyn and Tom McKnight, traveled to India in September. Our aim was to visit cities and villages and observe healthcare delivery. We visited hospitals and clinics, and we had the opportunity to meet with local patient advocates. Along with our industry partners, we presented to public health leaders, national government officials and a representative of the World Health Organization. Our goal going forward is to help form an injection safety coalition in India.
Presentations and Media
Led by co-founder and president Evelyn McKnight, who continues to present her story on the ongoing need to always use safe injection practices, HONOReform presented at 30 events attended by nearly 3500 people. HONOReform was featured in national media over 25 times in 2014, and we helped lead the much-quoted April 17 USA Today article titled “Doctors, medical staff put patients at risk.”
Updated HONOReform website
Evelyn and HONOReform are active on social media, particularly twitter (#HONOReform). On our streamlined website, click on “JOIN THE CONVERSATION” to receive up-to-the-minute information from HONOReform (on Twitter and Facebook). Also, be sure to check out and subscribe to the HONOReform blog, “Survivor Stories,” edited by Evelyn and Lauren Lollini. To submit an idea for our blog or an article, contact Steve Langan at 402.659.6343 or steve@HONOReform.org.
Sadly, some healthcare providers in the United States continue to reuse and misuse medical equipment, including syringes. Additional focus areas this year included reuse and misuse of single- and multi-dose vials of medication and responding to increasing reports of drug diversion among healthcare workers. Through the HONOResponse program, active in five states in 2014, HONOReform is poised to help patients and communities immediately following a patient notification or confirmed outbreak.
The SIPC and the Campaign
HONOReform is a proud member of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), which provides support for the One and Only Campaign (OneandOnlyCampaign.org). The SIPC continues to develop and distribute new materials, and we continue to raise awareness among healthcare providers and patients about the absolute need for safe injection practices. In 2014, HONOReform discussed with SIPC colleagues a need to emphasize and extend the patient voice. As always, please contact HONOReform and allow us to help you access the materials that will be most useful to you and your institution—if you are a healthcare worker—or your family—if you are a patient.
Support for State Legislation
HONOReform is particularly proud of our many partners in New Hampshire, who pushed for the landmark “Medical Technician Registry” and “Drug Free Workplace” bills, which were signed in to law in June. HONOReform was also active in working toward legislation in North Dakota—where an injection safety proclamation was established. HONOReform is dedicated to advocating for injection safety legislation at the state level.
Our Academic Partners
HONOReform appreciated the many opportunities this year to meet, in person and online, with students from local and area universities and colleges, as they studied the consequences of unsafe injections. We welcome the opportunity to share the HONOReform story and highlight the need to always emphasize injection safety. Our academic partners include University of Nebraska-Omaha, Midland University, Methodist Nursing College, the College of St Mary, St. Louis University and Southeast Community College—among others.
HONOReform Year End Appeal
We are grateful to our many donors for the ongoing support of our mission. Contributions to our annual appeal for donations, response to a request from founder Evelyn McKnight, were especially helpful. Contributions to HONOReform come in a variety of forms. Thank you for helping us to continue to safeguard the medical injection process in the United States.
Our Goals for 2015
We have designated 2015 the HONOReform “Year of Community.” We encourage HONOReform patient advocates and family advocates, our many partner organizations, and the extended national injection safety network to join us. We encourage you to join HONOReform social media and help us extend the conversation and our reach!
Welcome back to the HONOReform blog, aka “Survivor Stories,” for our second full year of publication. We thank everyone who has had a role in making our blog a growing success—contributors and readers and everyone who has suggested to friends that they should check out our blog and pass it on to others.
And we encourage you to please continue to support our efforts.
Here at HONOReform, community-building is a key to emphasizing safe injection practices and doing all we can to educate the public and reeducate providers on the absolute necessity of injection safety. Read more
Usually in this space we share stories from patients who have survived an unsafe injection. Today we are sharing the survival story of a physician who stopped colleagues from performing unsafe injections during her residency.
My story of improper injections is from my residency. I was in my third year of family practice residency in Minnesota and I was starting a procedures rotation. The attending physician and nurses were preparing for procedures that day – mainly mole removals and simple skin techniques. I noticed that after the first procedure the nurses took the needle off of the syringe and put a new needle on it in order to use the same syringe of anesthetic for the second patient.
I told them, “You can’t do that.”
They explained that because the attending physician was not drawing back it was actually safe to use the same syringe with a different needle.
I told them that it was NOT the case and then we put the needle and syringe into the sharps container. After class that day I spoke with the program director and several others at the residency. By the next week when I was back on that rotation the procedure had changed. I noticed that there was some conversation between the attending physician and the nurses about how that change had come about.
I was just shocked and appalled at the time. Residency is very stressful. In addition to the stress of learning so many things, I didn’t think I would have to be stressed about watching healthcare providers to make sure they were using proper injection technique. Its just very important to always keep your eyes open because this could happen anywhere.
Tom and Evelyn McKnight were recently sponsored by Lexington Insurance to speak to hospital risk management on injection safety in Honolulu. While there, they learned about public health threats to the native Hawaiians through disease before antibiotics. Here are some of Tom’s thoughts about the importance of injection safety when delivering antibiotics. Antibiotics and Injection Safety
Following is a written transcription of the video:
And welcome to the beautiful state of HI.
I’m tom mcknight and i’m a family physician. With my wife Evelyn, I am a co-founder of the organization HONOReform.
We have been invited to the state of Hawaii by AIG to speak to risk managers about injection safety.
As you might remember, the early days of the Hawaii were fraught with many diseases, many of which were brought by western civilization. Chicken pox, measles and even Hansen’s disease had a devastating effect on society. With the advent of antibiotics and injections in 1940’s and 1950’s, their health has become much safer.
But every injection needs to be a safe one. So our organization is promoting safe injection practices, because every injection needs to be handled and distributed properly.
So join with us and all of our co-sponsors in promoting needle injection safety.