Process and training improvements reduce sharps injuries by 37%

Situation

One needle stick injury is estimated to cost $500 to $3,000, even when no
infection occurs. At a prestigious academic medical center, needle sticks
were occurring at 2.5 times the national average, despite a commitment to
worker safety. Needle sticks were considered to be “just part of the job”.

Solution

BSI worked with the hospital to analyze injury data, identify causes, quantify
costs, and communicate findings to administrative and physician leadership.
Once organization leaders prioritized needle stick reduction, the next step
was to identify and implement measures that would achieve sustainable
change through a multi-faceted approach:

  • Beginning monthly reporting that included personal narratives to build understanding and concern.
  • Enlisting practitioner input to improve equipment and procedures, such as removing non-safety sharps, using instruments instead of fingers, and creating neutral (no hand-passing) zones within procedural areas.
  • Creating a root cause analysis process for sharps injuries and integrating this into the existing injury investigation program.
  • Incorporating sharps safety into medical training curriculum for all incoming medical students, residents, physicians and staff.
  • Using innovative web-based, peer-led education and a poster campaign to keep the conversation going.

 

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