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Assessing health and safety of healthcare workers - evaluation of survey methods in a regional medical center.

Piacitelli G; Boiano J; Sieber K; Catalano J; Heyer N; Payn B
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2005 May; :60-61
The National Exposures at Work Survey (NEWS) is intended to collect descriptive data from employees regarding occupational health and safety practices and perceptions, potential exposures, and interventions. The feasibility of collecting this information within the healthcare industry using a self-administered employee questionnaire was evaluated in a medical center. The questionnaire consisted of a core module addressing general issues (e.g., violence, stress, sharps) and ten hazard-specific modules (e.g., hazardous drugs, anesthetic gases, sterilants). The questionnaire could be completed using either a multi-module paper version or a seamless web-based version. Approximately 750 employees were divided into three groups. "Targeted" employees (group 1, n=295), determined a priori to have potential exposure to targeted hazards (e.g., oncology nurses to hazardous drugs), received a letter with a core module and one or more hazard modules in paper version. "Non-targeted" employees received either a letter with a paper core module (group 2, n=229) or only a letter with instructions for requesting the paper core (group 3, n=224); both of these groups were instructed to request appropriate hazard modules based upon screening questions. All three groups received instructions for alternatively accessing the web-based version. Overall, 53% of sampled employees completed the survey; response rates among common occupations ranged from 47% (pharmacy personnel) to 58% (medical supply technicians). When provided, an employee was more likely to complete the paper version rather than accessing the web-version (76% versus 24%). However, 89% of employees who received only a letter tended to choose the web-based questionnaire. If an employee was instructed to obtain hazard modules after completing screening questions in the paper core module, only 7% did so. This was not a problem in the web-based version, which was seamless with respect to additional modules. These results suggest a self-administered web-based survey is an accepted and efficient method to query workers.
Health-care-personnel; Workers; Health-care-facilities; Occupational-health; Occupational-safety-programs; Safety-practices; Questionnaires; Medical-facilities; Occupational-hazards; Health-hazards
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division