Office equipment and supplies: a modern occupational health concern?
The Helsinki Office Environment Study, a population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in Finland in 1991 among 2,678 workers in 41 randomly selected office buildings. The aim was to evaluate the relations between work with office equipment and supplies and the occurrence of eye, nasopharyngeal, skin, and general symptoms (often denoted as sick building syndrome (SBS)), chronic respiratory symptoms, and respiratory infections. Work with self-copying paper was significantly related to weekly work-related eye, nasopharyngeal, and skin symptoms, headache and lethargy, as well as to the occurrence of wheezing, cough, mucus production, sinusitis, and acute bronchitis. Photocopying was related to nasal irritation, and video display terminal work to eye symptoms, headache, and lethargy. (+info)
Library cooperation: wave of the future or ripple?
Little of the literature in library cooperation applies specifically to library service for the health sciences. Based on experience in and observations of the cooperation of health science libraries, this short lecture reviews aspects of general library cooperation, networks, and consortia. The effects on library operation of several cooperative activities are enumerated and cooperation management is discussed briefly. (+info)
Negative effect of photocopier toner on alveolar macrophages determined by in vitro magnetometric evaluation.
Photocopier toner has been implicated in the etiology of some pulmonary diseases. We examined here the in vitro toxicity of toner particles to alveolar macrophages. Cell magnetometry revealed that relaxation was not delayed in macrophages exposed to toner, which represents a rapid decrease in the remaining magnetism emitted by phagocytosed magnetite. However, relaxation was delayed in macrophages exposed to silica (positive controls). The release of intracellular LDH enzyme activity to the extracellular space was negligible in cells exposed to toner compared with negative and positive controls. Morphological examinations by light and electron microscopy revealed no abnormal findings in the exposed cells. A histochemical study using TUNEL staining and the electrophoretic profile of DNA obtained from cells exposed to toner and to silica were negative for apoptosis. The results of the present and other investigations into animal exposure indicate that photocopier toner is toxicologically inert. However, although the present study examined only effects in vitro, exposure to toner should be minimized because lung overloading in animals has been reported. (+info)
Combating omission errors through task analysis and good reminders.
Leaving out necessary task steps is the single most common human error type. Certain task steps possess characteristics that are more likely to provoke omissions than others, and can be identified in advance. The paper reports two studies. The first, involving a simple photocopier, established that failing to remove the last page of the original is the commonest omission. This step possesses four distinct error-provoking features that combine their effects in an additive fashion. The second study examined the degree to which everyday memory aids satisfy five features of a good reminder: conspicuity, contiguity, content, context, and countability. A close correspondence was found between the percentage use of strategies and the degree to which they satisfied these five criteria. A three stage omission management programme was outlined: task analysis (identifying discrete task steps) of some safety critical activity; assessing the omission likelihood of each step; and the choice and application of a suitable reminder. Such a programme is applicable to a variety of healthcare procedures. (+info)
Obtaining journal reprints: the 'dos' and 'don'ts'.
In a search for knowledge, and to expand their own work, scientists and academicians have depended on the work of colleagues with similar interests. While attending conferences enables one to acquire useful knowledge, the information so gained is unlikely to be lasting. Furthermore, many persons learn better by reading than by listening, and reading can be done at one's own convenience. These and many other reasons account for the increasing number of reprints requested by researchers, and in medicine, by practicing clinicians. (+info)
Medicare program; photocopying reimbursement methodology. Final rule.
This final rule increases the rate of reimbursement for expenses incurred by prospective payment system PPS) hospitals for photocopying medical records requested by Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs), formerly known as Utilization and Quality Control Peer Review Organizations (PROs). We are increasing the rate from 7 cents per page to 12 cents per page to reflect inflationary changes in the labor and supply cost components of the formula. This final rule also provides for the periodic review and adjustment of the per-page reimbursement rate to account for inflation and changes in technology. The methodology for calculating the per-page reimbursement rate will remain unchanged. We are also providing for the payment of the expenses of furnishing photocopies to QIOs, to other providers subject to a PPS (for example, skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies), in accordance with the rules established for reimbursing PPS hospitals for these expenses. (+info)
Copy fees and patients' rights to obtain a copy of their medical records: from law to reality.
Patients have a legal right under HIPAA to a copy of their medical records. Personal life-long medical records rely on patients' ability to exercise this right inexpensively and in a timely manner. We surveyed 73 hospitals across the US, with a geographic concentration around Boston, to determine their policies about fees for copying medical records and the expected time it takes to fulfill such requests. Fees range very widely, from $2-55 for short records of 15 pages to $15-585 for long ones of 500 pages. Times also range widely, from 1-30 days (or longer for off-site records). A few institutions provide records for free and even fewer make them accessible on-line. We argue that electronic records will help solve the problem of giving patients access to their own records, will do so inexpensively and in a format more likely to be useful than paper. (+info)
Office work exposures [corrected] and respiratory and sick building syndrome symptoms.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the relation between exposure to carbonless copy paper (CCP), paper dust, and fumes from photocopiers and printers (FPP), and the occurrence of sick building syndrome (SBS)-related symptoms, chronic respiratory symptoms and respiratory infections. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study with a random sample of 1016 adults, 21-63 years old, living in Pirkanmaa District in South Finland was conducted. This study focused on 342 office workers classified as professionals, clerks or administrative personnel according to their current occupation by the International Standard Classification of Occupations-88. They answered a questionnaire about personal information, health, smoking, occupation, and exposures in the work environment and at home. RESULTS: In logistic regression analyses adjusting for age, sex and a set of other confounders, all three exposures were related to a significantly increased risk of general symptoms (headache and fatigue). Exposure to paper dust and to FPP was associated with upper respiratory and skin symptoms, breathlessness, tonsillitis and middle ear infections. Exposure to CCP increased the risk of eye symptoms, chronic bronchitis and breathlessness. It was also associated with increased occurrence of sinus and middle ear infections and diarrhoea. A dose-response relations was observed between the number of exposures and occurrence of headache. The risk of tonsillitis and sinus infections also increased with increasing number of exposures. All chronic respiratory symptoms, apart from cough, were increased in the highest exposure category (including all three exposures). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides new evidence that exposure to paper dust and to FPP is related to the risk of SBS symptoms, breathlessness and upper respiratory infections. It strengthens the evidence that exposure to CCP increases the risk of eye symptoms, general symptoms, chronic respiratory symptoms and some respiratory infections. Reduction of these exposures could improve the health of office workers. (+info)