Summary Abstracts
Spring 2017 Journal

 Staying Current on Government Affairs In this Journal column, Stephen Burt, MFA, BS, AOHP Government Affairs Committee Chair, provides an update on OSHA's recent decision to indefinitely postpone the enforcement of electronic reporting requirements for OSHA 300A annual summaries for employers in certain categories. He also examines the implications of the Recordkeeping Rule - and this delay - on healthcare employers.

 Annual Treasurer’s Report Dana Jennings, RN, BSN, CCM, AOHP Executive Treasurer, shares the results of AOHP’s financial review completed for the year ending December 31, 2016, with an explanation of how AOHP is diligent about maintaining financial stability. An overview of the organization’s financial position for 2016 is depicted using graphs.

 Editor’s Column This standard feature provides commentary from the current Journal Editor, Kim Stanchfield, RN, COHN-S. In this issue, she reflects on her 30+ years of experience in the occupational health field, the evolution of the profession and how AOHP (and its predecessor AHEHP) have been a vital resource since the beginning of her career. 

Association Community Liaison Report Through this regular Journal article, MaryAnn Gruden, MSN, CRNP, NP-C, COHN-S/CM, details how AOHP is gaining visibility as an expert regarding occupational health issues. In this edition, she reviews OSHA's most recent injury data findings, the release of its Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs and the agency's efforts to improve employer recordkeeping. Also included is a NIOSH update highlighting available respiratory protection resources, continuing exposure to surgical smoke and results of a short sleep duration study, as well as an integrated approach to address sedentary work environments and ways to protect workers in ambulances.

 Perspectives in Healthcare Safety Cory Worden, MS, CSHM, CSP, CHSP, ARM, REM, CESCO, is the Manager of System Safety for the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System in Houston, TX. In his standing Journal column, Worden shares his insights on safety in healthcare. This issue's feature, co-authored with Janet Fleming, MPH, CIH, reviews the regulations, behaviors and risk associated with the development of safe working conditions in the workplace. Key areas of focus include the diligence needed to safely handle hazardous chemicals and drugs, and other hazardous materials. Also discussed are effective hazard communication, respiratory protection and eyewash stations to promote safety with handling these materials. 

Health Care Emergency Preparedness: Changes on the Horizon The U.S. healthcare system plays an important role in every phase of the disaster cycle paradigm - mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Emergency planning is more critical now than ever with the increasing occurrence and severity worldwide of natural disasters, and terrorism and mass shooting incidents. Authors Robyn Gershon, MHS, DrPH and Qi Zhi, MPH, explore the effects on healthcare of three large scale events - Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and the catastrophic EF5 tornado that devastated Joplin, MO - and how the new CMS final rule on emergency preparedness (effective November 15, 2017) is designed to help healthcare providers and suppliers prepare in advance for a wide range of emergencies. 

Tuberculosis Screening of New Healthcare Workers Utilizing an Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA): Quality Improvement in Screening Time, Onboarding Time and Compliance

Faced with a high volume of potential new employee hires, a major southeast healthcare system was concerned about delays in new hire start dates. The two-step tuberculin skin test administration and follow-up process was identified as a potential areas of improved onboarding efficiency. Article authors Mary Giovannetti, DNP, APRN, BC-FNP; Stephanie Burgess, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANP; Karen Kane McDonnell, PhD, RN, OCN; Abbas Tavakoli, DrPH, MPH, ME; and Stephanie Barnhill, MSN, APRN, BC-FNP document the development of a quality improvement study to compare baseline testing for new employees with an IGRA to the two-step PPD tuberculin skin test (TST) for tuberculosis screening time, overall onboarding time, compliance with screening within 10 days of hire date and associated costs. Results show that the IGRA for tuberculosis screening in comparison to the TST testing significantly reduced tuberculosis screening time for new hire employees.