patient safety

Reused syringes causes infection control breach in New Jersey

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.
Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Last week, reports of a nurse administering flu shots to 67 employees in New Jersey was found to be reusing syringes. While the risk for transmission appears to be low in this incident, it is yet another reminder about how easy the episode of exposure for an infectious disease can be. One shortcut taken either to save time or money can put patients at risk for HIV, Hepatitis B or C.

More than 150,000 patients have been told, over the last 10 years, they needed to get tested following a syringe misuse to include syringe reuse. Despite the protocols put into effect by the CDC, we continue to hear stories of patients put into harm’s way.
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Preparing Future Healthcare Providers

" A Never Event" is being used in the curriculum of numerous healthcare training programs.
” A Never Event” is being used in the curriculum in numerous healthcare training programs.

Over time, some colleges and universities have incorporated “A Never Event: Exposing the Largest Outbreak of Hepatitis C in American Healthcare History” by McKnight and Bennington into their training of healthcare providers. This is a wonderful way to educate young providers about injection safety and patient safety in general. We always enjoy interacting with the students when we are invited to join class. It is very rewarding to us, because in the words of a nursing professor at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, “Today you have spoken to a hundred new nurses. But they will never forget your story, and through their hands you have made healthcare safer for thousands.”

We have gathered together some thoughts of the students and professors from the past months and have used them to compose this six minute video for your enjoyment.

We know of some of the training programs that use A Never Event, but we suspect that there are others that we are unaware of. If you know of any that are not mentionned in the video, please let us know by emailing evelyn@HONOReform.org. Thank you!

Hepatitis C and preventive measures by Dr Mudasir Firdosi

We would like to thank Dr. Mudasir Firdosi for helping to highlight Hepatitis C as a truly global issue. This is re-printed from a post which appeared in mid-May.

Kashmir valley is witnessing another disaster in the form of Hepatitis C epidemic. In some villages in Kokernag area, the number of cases is around 40% of the total population. In spite of media pressure, and demand from local population, authorities are still contemplating curbing the further spread of this infection. Similar scenario exists in other districts of the valley like Shopian, Kupwara, and Srinagar.

Hepatitis C is not transmitted by routine personal contact and there needs to be an actual transfer of the virus via blood, blood products and body fluids, from one person to another. From the sociodemographic profile of the rural population, one can easily exclude intravenous drug abuse or sexual contact as the cause of the current epidemic in majority of cases.
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Saluting the Healthcare Professionals at Madigan Army Medical Center

Tom & Evelyn McKnight recently presented at Madigan Army Medical Center
Tom & Evelyn McKnight recently presented at Madigan Army Medical Center

We were so honored recently to be asked to give several presentations to healthcare providers at Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, Washington.

I have always been in awe of the brave men and women in military service. The commitment and sacrifice that they make is beyond measure. To volunteer to serve our country, often in dangerous circumstances and far away from loved ones, is incredible. They have my deepest admiration.

So it was great respect that we gave presentations on patient safety to healthcare personnel. And our respect was well deserved. The healthcare providers asked thoughtful questions about patient safety and shared their own, impressive efforts in insuring that soldiers receive safe, quality healthcare.

Here is a 3 minute video tribute to Madigan. Madigan Army Medical Center, we salute you!

Building community for safe injections!

www.ONEandONLYCampaign.org
www.ONEandONLYCampaign.org

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

Making Lemonade: One CRNA’s Story of Addiction and Recovery

Anita Bertrand, CRNA, was the featured speaker at this year's AANA annual meeting
Anita Bertrand, CRNA, was the featured speaker at this year’s AANA annual meeting

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

Glucometer Safety: part one

Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use
Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use

We are grateful to the “nurse from St. Louis” for sharing part one of a two-part blog for stressing the absolute importance of always cleaning the glucometer between patients. This week, from her point of view, she introduces the “scope of the problem” and shares some of the important “facts.”

Introduction/ Scope of the Problem

Recently there have been several documented breaches in infection control procedures, resulting in potential exposure to blood borne pathogens in a variety of health care settings throughout the United States. We have already discussed the OSHA reprimand and fine levied upon SSM Health Care in St. Louis, Missouri for not properly disinfecting point-of-care blood testing meters after each patient. In addition, the July 2014 issue of the American Journal of Nursing has an article titled “Infection Prevention Practices in Ambulatory Surgery Centers” which included reports of “blood glucometers not being cleaned between patients” at health care centers in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Complete Health Care for Women in Ohio was reprimanded by OSHA for violations related to not protecting staff and patients from blood borne pathogens. If these types of breaches occur at large, well-regarded, quality award winning healthcare systems, then they can happen anywhere. Read more

Happy New Year!

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.
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Drug Diversion, a Broken Healthcare System

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.
Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

If you are a regular member to this blog you will have heard me say these things before, so I apologize for the repetition, but it appears I may not be saying it loud enough. So I am thankful to have the support of fellow patient safety advocates, healthcare workers who understand the broken system as well as a series of talented reporters to help articulate the point.

Our healthcare system is broken, let me say that again, it is broken and not the way the majority of Americans might think after reading that statement. It isn’t about the Affordable Care Act, in fact, just the opposite. It is underneath the polished floors and inside the magnificent facilities. It is behind the scenes, what happens when most people are not watching.
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