H1N1 Flu Resources
For updates on the H1N1 (Swine) Flu, you can log on to the CDC's Website at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu. They are updating this site regularly and providing guidance on precautions to follow. Another good site for information is the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/en. To see the press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, log in to the Member Resource Area - Pandemic Planning Section.
DPW Rescinds Interpretation on Hand Sanitizer
PANPHA announced April 9, 2009, that the efforts of Rep. John Bear (R-Lancaster), PANPHA member advocates, and staff forced the Department of Public Welfare to re-think their interpretation of the requirements under 55 Pa. Code Ch. 2600.82(c) relating to securing "poisins". More information can be obtained by contacting Mark Miller, Regulatory Affairs Manager or Nick Luciano, Legislative Affairs Manager at PANPHA.
Hand Sanitizer Regulation Gets New Interpretation From DPW
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) released another change in interpretation to Section 2600.82(c) - Poisons. The question was "Must Purell Hand Sanitizers be kept locked - Is it a poison since the container states keep out of reach of children?" For the response, log in to the Member Resource Area - Risk Control Center - Articles.
Pool & Spa Safety Act Supported by APSP Enacted Into Law
Congress approved the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. Of particular importance are the new guidelines concerning entrapment prevention. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals' (APSP) endorsement outlining the new law can be found under the Member Resource Area, Rick Control Center, GL / Auto Articles. Also posted are FAQs as well as a matrix defining how these guidelines affect your business.
Safe Lifting Portal by Liko
Liko, a patient lift solution provider, is a good resource for understanding and approaching the resident tranfer issue. Go to www.safeliftingportal.com for more information.
Governor Rendell Signs Bill Restricting Smoking in Most Public Places in PA
Senate Bill 246 prohibits smoking in a public place or a workplace and lists examples of what is considered a public place. Establishments will have a 90 day phase-in period to allow for necessary changes to come into compliance. To learn more go to www.health.state.pa.us to read about the Clean Indor Air Act.
CARE Education and General Liability / Auto Committees Present "Workplace Violence" Seminar
Thursday, October 30, 2008, is the date for the Fall CARE member seminar on "Workplace Violence: Early Warning Signs to Crisis Response." Contact your Facilitiy's Point Person or Denise Gillin at email@example.com or (717) 735-7174 for more information.
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association (PEMA) - Movement of Authorized Persons on Commonwealth Highways During a Disaster
In August PEMA issued a directive concerning "essential" personnel driving during a disaster. If you do not already have a policy in place at your facility, consider doing so as soon as possible. This will ensure that your facility will be ready prior to an "all hazard event" closing of state roads. To see a copy of the Directive, log on to the "Articles" section of the Member Resource Area.
SENIORS: Stopping Scams
According to an article in the Lancaster New Era (May 19, 2008) by Mary Beth Schweigert, seniors are often targeted by con artists. Going back to school is a way to combat this problem. Joyce O'Brien, a community liaison in state Attorney General Tom Corbett's new Elder Abuse Unit, leads free seminars to help seniors avoid the most common scams. O'Brien recently visted St. Anne's Retirement Community, Columbia, to present her program, Senior Crime Prevention University. The program addresses an age-old adage: "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." O'Brien went on to say that Pennsylvania is fertile ground for scam artists. Fifteen percent of the population is over age 65 - the third highest in the nation. The member resource area has more information including how to help seniors avoid falling victim to these scams as well as more information on O'Brien's program.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs)
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), each year approximately 250,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) outside of the hospital. Evidence suggests that the risk of cardiac event is higher during or immediately following vigorous exercise. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is critical to maintaining the supply of oxygen to vital organs, but the single most effective treatment for cardiac arrest is defibrillation - a shock deliverd to the heart using a small electronic device known as a defibrillator. The AHA recommends defibrillation within three to five minutes or sooner. Go to the Member Resource Area to view the CARE Member AED program.
Safe Medical Device Act (SMDA) - Reporting
The purpose of the Safe Medical Device Act Reporting Program is to identify medical device related incidents as soon as possible after their occurrence in order to initiate corrective action, prevent or minimize the occurrence of similar incidents, and comply with the reporting requirements of the Fderal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act and FDA regulations. A sample reporting policy can be found in the Member Resource Area.
Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention
Slips, trips, and falls are one of the leading loss drivers for retirement communities. The average person takes between 3,000 and 5,000 steps a day over varying surfaces and changing elevations. Do the math – that adds up to over one million steps a year! It makes sense that statistically, a fall is expected at some point in everyone’s lifetime.
CARE has developed a three-fold method to minimize this danger: Identify, Evaluate, and Control the exposures. Identification of the risk is done through several strategies so that different types of slip, trip, and fall exposures can be recognized. Next, the exposures are evaluated to determine the likelihood that a loss will occur and, if it does, the severity of the outcome. Thirdly – and most importantly – implementing prevention procedures based on the findings is key to the process. Engineering, administrative, and personal protective equipment controls need to be put in place.
Engineering: It would be wonderful if you were able to start from scratch and make sure the walking surface in place was selected specifically to prevent slips. If possible, select floor surface materials that are appropriate for the conditions that will be present. Wet environments should have a floor surface that will provide a COF of at least .5 when wet - as it is realistic that the surface of a healthcare facility could get wet. If you have to deal with an existing floor surface, you need to consider the maintenance and cleaning of the surface. This can be done by considering floor treatment / cleaning systems. These can provide very positive results, when used properly.
Administrative: Adequate cleaning and maintenance of the floor surfaces is the next control tactic. Facilities should review cleaning procedures to verify they are having a positive impact on the walking surfaces. Issues to review include frequency of cleaning, adequacy of the cleaning procedures (are mop buckets being emptied frequently while mopping), quality and compatibility of cleaning products, use of wet floor signs, reporting and cleaning spills, etc. Regular inspections must be performed.
Personal Protective Equiment (PPE): People don't usually think of "shoes" as PPE unless they are steel toes or have metatarsal guards. One of the best tools you can use to protect yourself from injuries related to slips, trips, and falls is your footwear!