Continuous Quality Improvement

30/30 Education Session - 30 minutes

1504 - Five Proven Strategies to Reduce the Continuing Issue of Sharps Injuries

Wednesday, June 14
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Oregon Convention Center, D 135-136

Despite the OSHA 2001 Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act and its immediate impact on reducing sharps injuries (SI) among U.S. healthcare personnel, SI incidence has decreased little since 2001. Although the use of sharps safety-engineered devices (SEDs) is mandatory, tightening healthcare resources make it difficult for facilities to make the best and safest SED available. In addition, although SI are categorized as healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), the pressures on infection prevention and control to reduce patient-related HAIs have resulted in staff exposures attracting fewer resources. To bring staff exposures back into focus, this session presents an overview of SI incidence in the United States, proposes reasons why the incidence failed to decrease at the predicted rate, and outlines five successful strategies used by U.S. hospitals to lower their SI incidence.
Using multiple denominators, data will be presented from three U.S. databases, confirming that most U.S. healthcare facilities are finding it difficult to significantly lower their SI incidence. Many regard "zero" as an unrealistic target. National incidence rates per bed have significantly risen, and rates for total staff and nursing staff have decreased less than 10 percent in the past 5 years. Notwithstanding these trends, additional data will be presented showing how several U.S. hospitals, including large teaching hospitals, have been able to significantly reduce their SI incidence. Results will be presented from interviews with these sharps-aware hospitals and five of their proven strategies to reduce SI will be outlined. These strategies will give the target audience take-home practical examples as to how they can reduce SI by improving the safety of the devices they use and/or modifying staff behavior.

Learning Objectives:

Terry Grimmond

Grimmond and Associates, Microbiology Consultants
Hamilton, Waikato

Terry Grimmond, director of Grimmond and Associates, is an Australian consultant microbiologist and educator with 50 years’ experience in infection and sharps injury prevention. A former Australian Speaking Professional, Terry has spoken at 185 conferences in 18 countries, received multiple awards for his work, and in 2015 was National Infection Prevention Training Coordinator for the WHO Ebola Response Team in Sierra Leone. He serves on sharps container standards in four countries, chaired the review of the U.S. Standard, and serves as Canadian representative on the ISO Standard currently under review. He has published extensively on sharps injury incidence and prevention, including five U.S. EXPO-STOP national blood-exposure surveys from 2011 to 2015.


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Meredith Hotchkiss

Regional Manager
Trinity Health
Boise, Idaho

Meredith Hotchkiss has 22 years of experience as a Registered Nurse. She has worked in a variety of settings including Critical Care, the Emergency Department, and Infection Prevention. She has spent the last four years specialing in Environmental Services and is currently the Regional Manager for Trinity Hospitality Services for the Western United States. Trinity Health is a large multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that includes 93 hospitals, as well as 120 continuing care programs that include PACE, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services in 22 states. Meredith has served as Cochair of the Advisory Council for the Assosication of the Healthcare Environment (AHE). Currently she is a member of the Practice Guidance Committee and the ATO panel. Her educational background includes a BSN and Master's Degree-Nusing of Populations from Boise State University.


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1504 - Five Proven Strategies to Reduce the Continuing Issue of Sharps Injuries

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