NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Understanding the hospital sharps injury reporting pathway.
Boden LI; Petrofsky YV; Hopcia K; Wagner GR; Hashimoto D
Am J Ind Med 2015 Mar; 58(3):282-289
Background: Patient-care workers are frequently exposed to sharps injuries, which can involve the risk of serious illness. Underreporting of these injuries can compromise prevention efforts. Methods: We linked survey responses of 1,572 non-physician patient-care workers with the Occupational Health Services (OHS) database at two academic hospitals. We determined whether survey respondents who said they had sharps injuries indicated that they had reported them and whether reported injuries were recorded in the OHS database. Results: Respondents said that they reported 62 of 78 sharps injuries occurring over a 12-month period. Only 28 appeared in the OHS data. Safety practices were positively associated with respondents' saying they reported sharps injuries but not with whether reported injuries appeared in the OHS data. Conclusions: Administrators should consider creating reporting mechanisms that are simpler and more direct. Administrators and researchers should attempt to understand how incidents might be lost before they are recorded.
Health-care-personnel; Medical-personnel; Medical-facilities; Nurses; Needlestick-injuries; Risk-factors; Injuries; Safety-practices; Total-Worker-Health; Author Keywords: surveillance; occupational injuries; sharps injuries; hospital incident reporting; underreporting
Dr. Leslie I. Boden, PhD, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, T-444W, Boston, MA 02118
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U19-OH-008861; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008416; M102014
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
MA; CA; IL; DC
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division