The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5060.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 9:42 AM

Abstract #48838

Getting to the frontlines: Evaluating safer needle devices in the spirit of the needlestick safety and prevention act of 2000

Amanda M. Gust, MPH, Education and Information Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mailstop C-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226, 513-533-8589,, June Fisher, MD, UCSF, 1180 Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94110, Raymond C. Sinclair, PhD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, and Susan O. Wilburn, MPH, BSN, RN, American Nurses Association, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Suite 100 West, Washington, DC 20024-2571.

The federal Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act of 2000 mandates the use of safer needle devices in healthcare whenever possible. Worker participation in evaluation and selection of available devices is vital to fulfilling the spirit of the law.

The purpose of this study is to test information campaign methods among healthcare workers. The Stop Sticks campaign delivers information and education regarding safer needle devices evaluation criteria, exposure prevention, and post-exposure prophylaxis to healthcare workers in Columbia, South Carolina. The project teaches the importance of worker participation in all phases of exposure prevention. In addition, we involved workers in the campaign process: focus groups with local healthcare workers to discuss appropriate workplace health and safety messages and channels of communication, behavioral observations by frontline workers in operating rooms after a safety information blitz, and an advisory committee to assist the project on evaluation methods that would be useful for healthcare workers.

During the first year of the five-year study, the evaluation results demonstrate an increase in the awareness and willingness to implement safety devices. Challenges include balancing the involvement of managers who have traditionally made most product purchasing decisions versus the more inclusive method mandated by the legislation. Strategies to achieve this cultural shift as well as methods for implementation and evaluation will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to

Keywords: Health Care Workers, Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Safe Needles & Health Care Workers

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA