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ANNUAL ALLIANCE REPORT

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
and
The Joint Commission
and
Joint Commission Resources (JCR)

September 16, 2008


  1. Alliance Background

    Date Signed

    July 27, 2004

    Date Renewed

    November 8, 2006

    Overview

    The OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance focuses on providing health care workers and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in health care and addressing emergency preparedness, ergonomics, and workplace violence issues.

    Implementation Team Members

    OSHA:  
    Patricia Bray
    Tina Jones
    Sandra Khan
    Don Wright*
    Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management (DTSEM)
    DTSEM
    Office of Outreach Services and Alliances (OOSA)
    DTSEM
       
    The Joint Commission:  
    Char Hill Special Assistant
       
    JCR:  
    Cathy Hinckley
    Nancy Kuzmich
    Leslie J. LaBelle
    Gina LaMantia
    Charles MacFarlane
    Kristine Miller
    Pam Steinbach
    Executive Director, Publications
    Program Manager Department of Education
    Associate Director, National Conferences
    Program Manager Department of Education
    Vice-President, Learning
    Senior Editor, Publications
    Interim Executive Director of Education, Conference Coordinator

    *Don Wright served on the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Implementation Team until December 1, 2007.

    Evaluation Period

    July 27, 2007 - July 26, 2008

  2. Implementation Team Meetings
     
    • September 14, 2007 Environment of Care News Conference Call
    • October 10, 2007 2007 Emergency Preparedness Conference Meeting
    • November 6, 2007 Implementation Team Meeting
    • January 23, 2007 Hospital eTool Development Team Meeting
    • February 22, 2007 Hospital eTool Development Team Meeting
    • April 4, 2008 2008 Emergency Preparedness Conference Meeting
    • June 26, 2008 Hospital eTool Development Team Meeting
    • July 23, 2008 Implementation Team Meeting
    In addition to these formal meetings, the Alliance Implementation Team members from both groups maintained regular contact throughout the reporting period to monitor the Alliance's progress and results.
     
  3. Results
     
    1. Events and Products

      Training and Education
       
      • Work with OSHA to provide expertise to develop training and education programs targeted to health care workers on topics including emergency preparedness, biological and airborne hazards, ergonomics and workplace violence.

        During this evaluation period, no products or activities have been developed to meet this Alliance goal.
      Outreach and Communication
       
      • Work with OSHA to provide expertise in developing information on the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards, and to provide expertise in developing ways of communicating such information (e.g. print and electronic media, electronic assistance tools and OSHA's and The Joint Commission/JCR's Web sites) to employers and employees in the industry.

        Products

        OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Web page


        The OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site continues to be updated on a regular basis. The page includes links to the Alliance agreement and related documents, as well as information on activities, events, and milestones and successes.

        Publications and News Releases

        Environment of Care News

        Through the Alliance, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR are jointly writing an "OSHA & Worker Safety" column in the JCR newsletter, Environment of Care News, about health care worker safety and health. The March 2008 edition included the article, "Sharps Safety: Using Blunt-Tip Needles, in the Operating Room to Prevent Needlesticks," co-authored by Elise Handelman, Director, Office of Occupational Health Nursing (OOHN), DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA; Sheila Arbury, Health Scientist, OOHN, DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA; and Dionne Williams, Team Leader, Office of Health Enforcement, Directorate of Enforcement Programs (DEP), USDOL-OSHA. The June 2008 edition included the article, "Workplace Violence: Prevention of in Emergency Departments and Psychiatric Hospitals," co-authored by Elise Handelman, Sheila Arbury and Greg Barber, Team Leader, Office of Federal Agency Programs, DEP, USDOL-OSHA. In addition, Patricia Bray, Medical Officer, Office of Occupational Medicine (OOM), DTSEM, serves on the Environment of Care News editorial board.
         
      • Speak, exhibit, or appear at OSHA's or The Joint Commission/JCR conferences, local meetings, or other jointly sponsored events.

        Events

        Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: Preparing for the Unknown: "Are You Ready?" October 10-11, 2007, Alexandria, Virginia


        Through the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance, Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary, USDOL-OSHA, gave a presentation on the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance and provided the group with an OSHA update on October 10, 2007, during the Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: Preparing for the Unknown: "Are You Ready?" in Washington, DC. The conference examined the threat of pandemic flu and natural disasters and discussed effective planning strategies and available tools and techniques to maintain preparedness and readiness status. More than 550 emergency management and health care employers and employees attended the conference. In addition, OSHA representatives staffed an Alliance Program exhibit booth and distributed OSHA Safety and Health publications to conference attendees.

        Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: Practical Applications for Health Disaster Preparedness, April 8-9, 2008, Alexandria, Virginia


        Through the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance, OSHA representatives staffed an Alliance Program exhibit booth and distributed Agency compliance assistance publications and the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Activities Summary to conference attendees.

        2008 Perioperative Safety Symposium Post Conference: Worker Safety in Perioperative Services, May 1, 2008, Chicago, Illinois


        Through the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance, Sheila Arbury, Health Scientist, OOHN, DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA gave a presentation about the Safety and Health Information Bulletin, "Use of Blunt-Tip Suture Needles to Decrease Percutaneous Injuries to Surgical Personnel" that was jointly developed by OSHA and National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
         
      • Share information among OSHA personnel and industry safety and health professionals regarding The Joint Commission/JCR best practices or effective approaches and publicize results through outreach by The Joint Commission/JCR and through OSHA or The Joint Commission/JCR developed materials, training programs, workshops, seminars, and lectures (or any other applicable forum).

        Events

        Health Care Worker Influenza Vaccination Protocols, September 6, 2007, Audio Conference


        On September 6, 2007, Kay Dellinger, Medical Officer, OOM, DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA joined a panel audio conference that included representatives from The Joint Commission, JCR, American Medical Association, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The audio conference, "Health Care Worker Influenza Vaccination Protocols," provided employers and employees of health care facilities with information and best practices to increase the number of health care employees who receive the seasonal flu vaccination.
         
      • Work with other Alliance participants on specific issues and projects related to health care worker safety that are addressed and developed through the Alliance Program.

        OSHA Hospital eTool

        Through the Alliance, The Joint Commission/JCR representatives are working with other Alliance Program participants to provide input and expertise to OSHA to update the Agency Hospital eTool modules including bloodborne pathogens and laser hazards. In addition to The Joint Commission/JCR, the other Alliance Program participants involved on the project are the Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN), Laser Institute of American (LIA), and the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMA).

        The representatives from The Joint Commission/JCR who are participating on the Agency update of its Hospital eTool are:
        • Charles MacFarlane, Vice President, Learning, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois
        • Kristine Miller, Senior Editor, Publications, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois
      • Promote and encourage participation in OSHA's cooperative programs such as compliance assistance and the Voluntary Protection Programs when The Joint Commission/JCR representatives work with healthcare institutions.

        During this evaluation period, no products or activities have been developed to meet this Alliance goal.
      Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health

      • Convene or participate in forums, round table discussions, or stakeholder meetings on health care worker safety related issues to help forge innovative solutions in the workplace or to provide input on safety and health issues.

        During this evaluation period, no products or activities have been developed to meet this Alliance goal.
    2. Executive Summary

      During the 2007-2008 reporting period, the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Implementation Team members began developing an Alliance renewal agreement to renew the Alliance for two years. The organizations will continue to work together to update and develop new resources related to reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in healthcare and addressing emergency preparedness issues. This positive relationship has led to the development of the many projects that the team is currently working on or has produced. For example:
       
      • OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Web page on the Agency Web site provides links to the Alliance agreement, related documents, activities and events, and milestones and successes.
         
      • On May 1, 2008 during the Perioperative Safety Symposium Post Conference: Worker Safety in Perioperative Services in Chicago, Illinois, Sheila Arbury, Health Scientist, OOHN, DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA gave a presentation about the Safety and Health Information Bulletin, "Use of Blunt-Tip Suture Needles to Decrease Percutaneous Injuries to Surgical Personnel" that was jointly developed by OSHA and National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
         
      • OSHA representatives staffed an Alliance Program exhibit booth and distributed OSHA safety and health publications during the Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: "Practical Applications for Health Disaster Preparedness" April 8-9, 2008, Alexandria, Virginia.
         
      • OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR shared information with safety and health professionals, emergency preparedness planners and healthcare employers and employees at the Emergency Preparedness Conference, October 10-11, 2007, in Alexandria, Virginia. On October 10, 2007: Edwin J. Foulke, Jr., Assistant Secretary, USDOL-OSHA, gave opening remarks, discussed the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance and provided an OSHA update to conference attendees. OSHA representatives also staffed an Alliance Program exhibit booth and distributed Agency compliance assistance publications and the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Activities Summary to conference attendees.
         
      • Patricia Bray is serving on the editorial board of the JCR publication, Environment of Care News. In addition, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR are jointly writing an "OSHA & Worker Safety" standing column for the quarterly newsletter.
         
      • The Joint Commission/JCR is also sharing its expertise with OSHA to update the Agency Hospital eTool with a number of other Alliance Program participants, including AAOHN, ABSA, LIA, SDMS, and AORN.
         
    3. Alliance Program Reach

      Type of Activity (Conference, Training, Print and Electronic Distribution, etc.) Number of Individuals Reached or Trained
      OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site 6,123
      OSHA Hospital eTool 38,205
      October 10-11, 2007
      Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: Preparing for the Unknown: "Are You Ready?"
      Alexandria, Virginia

      Speaker:
      Edwin G. Foulke Jr., Assistant Secretary, USDOL-OSHA

      Exhibit Booth
      450
      April 8-9, 2008
      Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference: Practical Applications for Health Disaster Preparedness
      Alexandria, Virginia

      Exhibit booth
      350
      March 2008, "Sharps Safety: Using Blunt-Tip Needles, in the Operating Room to Prevent Needlesticks"
      Environment of Care News
      1,848
      June 2008, "Workplace Violence: Prevention of in Emergency Departments and Psychiatric Hospitals"
      Environment of Care News
      1,848
      May 1, 2008
      2008 Perioperative Safety Symposium Post Conference: Worker Safety in Perioperative Services

      Speaker:
      Sheila Arbury, Health Scientist, OOHN, DTSEM, USDOL-OSHA
      325
      TOTAL 48,899

  4. Upcoming Milestones

    Based upon the ongoing successes realized through their Alliance, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR agreed to continue the Alliance. The Alliance renewal agreement will be signed in the fall of 2008. During the upcoming year the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Implementation Team is planning a number of activities to provide health care workers and others with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help them protect employees' health and safety, particularly in reducing and preventing exposure to biological and airborne hazards in health care and addressing emergency preparedness issues.

    For example, the Agency is committed to maintaining and updating the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Alliance Web page on the Agency Web site. The Joint Commission/JCR is also considering developing an Alliance-related Web page on the JCR Web site.

    In addition, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR will continue to work with other Alliance Program participants, including the AAOHN and AOHP, to update Modules of the OSHA Hospital eTool.

    Further, the OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR Implementation Team is developing plans to promote the Alliance through a number of speaking and exhibiting opportunities including, the Annual Emergency Preparedness Conference, April 14-15, 2009 in Washington, DC and the Annual Infection Control Conference, September 2009, in Chicago, Illinois.

    Finally, OSHA and The Joint Commission/JCR will continue to jointly write articles for the standing column, OSHA & Worker Safety, in JCR's quarterly publication, Environment of Care News. In addition, Patricia Bray will continue to serve on the publication's editorial board.


    Report prepared by: Sandra Khan, Alliance Coordinator, Office of Outreach Services and Alliances, September 16, 2008.