HEALTHCARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
Partnerships are integral to the NIOSH Program for the HCSA sector and are the best means of achieving successful outcomes. Input from customers and stakeholder groups, which have inherent knowledge and concern about the health and safety of workers in the sector, helps in setting research priorities. Collaborative research with our partners may include in-kind contributions which help to leverage NIOSH research dollars. Partners also add expertise or specialized experience to the research team, which benefits the research, analysis, interpretation, and communication of the results.
NIOSH is currently partnering with many organizations representing industry, labor, government and others to advance health and safety research in the HSCA Sector. While there are too many partners to list here, we plan to provide a revolving list which will be updated periodically to identify all of our current partners. We invite partnerships in advancing the NIOSH research that will lead to reductions in occupational illnesses and injuries in the HCSA sector.
The NIOSH Program for HCSA collaborates and works closely with a broad spectrum of constituents representing this sector. Our stakeholders and customers represent industry, labor, academia, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and professional organizations both domestic and international. These organizations may be research partners, as described in the previous section. They may also be users of our technology and scientific findings, peer reviewers, recipients of research grants and contracts, or sources of equipment, technology, or knowledge for advancing research in this sector.
For information about partnering with the NIOSH HCSA Program, contact the HCSA Program Coordinator. For general information about partnerships with NIOSH, contact the NIOSH Office of Research and Technology Transfer.
The following list of stakeholders and customers conveys the wide range of organizations served by the NIOSH Program for HCSA.
In January 2006, NIOSH and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc., agreed to partner in research and outreach activitiesto prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. Partnership initiatives defined in the agreement include: 1) identifying priority research needs in the occupational and environmental health nursing community, and the workplaces and communities they address; 2) translating relevant research findings into effective products that address worker health and safety needs, and disseminating products to partner organizations that can put them into practice; 3) developing and disseminating information at appropriate conferences, and communicating information through diverse media; and 4) sharing injury statistics information to identify research and intervention needs.
NIOSH has a Memorandum of Understand with The American Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare to work collaboratively through the partnership to promote best practices associated with workplace safety and health issues in the healthcare setting.
- NIOSH and The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) have agreed to use their current and future collaborative efforts and expertise to promote best practices associated with workplace safety and health issues in the perioperative setting. These parties agree to gather, evaluate, document and share information related to current and emerging workplace safety and health issues throughout the United States. NIOSH is currently partnering with AORN to develop an ergonomic guideline for prevention of MSDs for physically demanding tasks performed by nurses in operating rooms, such as patient handling, pushing/pulling objects, lifting objects, and holding retractors, etc.
- NIOSH Researchers and American Medical Response have agreed to collaboratively conduct research to describe the scope of the ambulance crash-related injury problem for Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers.
- NIOSH is working with the American Nurses Association (ANA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and the University of Florida to develop and evaluate a Safe Patient Handling and Movement training package for use by schools of nursing. The training module provides information about identifying high risk patient handling tasks and how to perform the tasks using technology to reduce risk of MSDs.
Draft Document for Public Review and Comment: Safe Patient Handling and Movement Principles
- NIOSH is collaborating with multiple stakeholders to develop a series of control guidance sheets that deal with specific situations in gastroenterology. Each sheet identifies a particular process or operation and provides guidance on controlling exposures to chemical agents. The guidance can be engineering design or controls, work practices or personal protective equipment recommendations. NIOSH partners in this effort include:
- The Dow Chemical Company
- Kaiser Permanente, MediSHARE Environmental Health and Safety Services
- Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates (SGNA)
- UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
NIOSH has provided funding to academic institutions to conduct research on various aspects of healthcare worker safety and health. Some of these organizations include: Columbia University, Duke University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, University of Connecticut, University of Kansas, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts – Lowell, University of North Carolina and University of Texas,
The University of Kansas School of Nursing - The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicator Program of the University of Kansas School of Nursing provides input for study methods for the NIOSH research into the health and safety outcomes related to work schedules in nurses. They also recruited hospitals for the study and communicated with study sites.
The University of Maryland School of Nursing - The University of Maryland School of Nursing faculty are collaborating with NIOSH researchers to develop future research efforts focused on interventions for nurses to address fatigue and work schedules.
NIOSH has historically collaborated with other elements within CDC. NIOSH is working with the Division of Health Quality Promotion on several activities including: the implementation of the research agenda and action plan developed at the National Sharps Injury Prevention meeting; providing support and evaluation on the National Clinicians' Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEPline) and collaborating on the existing and proposed studies related to respiratory protection. NIOSH staff serve on various HHS/CDC committees and workgroups addressing HCW issues including flu vaccination among HCWs.
NIOSH has been a collaborative partner with the National Center for HIV, Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) and TB Prevention in its efforts to prevent the transmission of TB in the workplace. NIOSH has provided leadership in the development of the Respiratory Protection and Engineering Control Guidance for the prevention of the transmission of TB in health care and correctional facilities.
NIOSH has provided testimony to OSHA related to health issues such as bloodborne pathogens and TB.
NIOSH serves as a member of the Federal TB Task Force, which consists of various agencies across the federal government working toward the elimination of TB in the U.S.
ANA -- NIOSH researchers are collaborating with ANA to conduct research into the health and safety outcomes related to work schedules in nurses. ANA was involved in demonstrating the need for the study, provided input for the study methods, and are serving as members of the expert committee to review and help interpret the findings. They also assisted in establishing a plan to communicate the study findings.
Over 20 professional organizations representing healthcare workers have partnered with NIOSH to conduct a web-based Health and Safety Practices Survey of Healthcare Workers. These organizations were recruited primarily because they have members with potential exposure to targeted chemical hazards including aerosolized medications, anesthetic gases, antineoplastic agents, chemical sterilants, high level disinfectants and surgical smoke. Each association will play a role in disseminating survey findings to their constituents.
A number of professional associations are represented on the Healthcare and Social Services Sector Council:
- American Nurses Association
- American Institute of Architects
- National Association of Social Workers
- National Rehabilitation Association
- OSAP Dentristry’s Resource for Infection Control and Safety
OSAP, the organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention is conducting a small project to insure that bloodborne pathogens exposure control plans are effectively implemented in private dental offices and dental clinics, an important segment of the non-hospital based healthcare system; and to understand how effective implementation strategies may be applied to other healthcare settings. The work will draw on research-to-practice principles and will be assisted by a strong network of dental professional groups, trade associations, and government agencies. A report detailing lessons learned and strategies that can be used to overcome barriers to compliance will be developed.
In collaboration with NIOSH, The Joint Commission collected examples of effective practices that integrate safety-related activities that improve processes and outcomes for both patients and health care workers, such as conducting security risk assessments. The examples will be considered for discussion at a roundtable meeting and potential inclusion in a free educational monograph intended to help organizations improve quality and safety. The monograph or white paper that will be widely disseminated through websites and electronic distribution lists of the convening organizations. The white paper would identify action steps that health care organizations can take to improve safety for both patients and workers.
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