Latex glove allergy among hospital employees: a study in the north-west of England.
The frequency of use and duration of wearing latex gloves among hospital employees has increased due to concerns about AIDS and hepatitis. In many countries there is increased consciousness about latex sensitization. In the UK, the Medical Device Agency has been monitoring latex allergy for a number of years but has not found any conclusive evidence of any significant problem. We report following a detailed questionnaire study in two hospitals in the north-west of England. A total of 1,827 members of staff were questioned about latex allergy at work. One hundred and twenty-four (7%) of these hospital employees had experienced symptoms strongly suggestive of latex allergy. Of this group, 56 had a-RAST test (IgE specific to latex), which was positive in seven (12.5%). There was a history of atopy in 31%, and a family history of atopy in 17% of the individuals. As a result of the study it was found that 17% (21 of the affected individuals) had already changed their working practice by using latex-free gloves. We were able to increase awareness of latex allergy within the hospitals. Both individuals and health care organizations need to be aware of the problem and hospital organizations should encourage staff to seek guidance to address the problem and, if necessary, to take appropriate measures to improve working practices. Practical guidelines are given with regard to identifying the problem and glove use for hospital staff. (+info)
Hospital restructuring and the changing nature of the physical therapist's role.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study was conducted to identify role behavior changes of acute care physical therapists and changes in the organizational and professional context of hospitals following restructuring. METHODS: A Delphi technique, which involved a panel of 100 randomly selected acute care physical therapy managers, was used as the research design for this study. Responses from rounds 1 and 2 were synthesized and organized into exhaustive and mutually exclusive categories for round 3. Data obtained from round 3 were used to develop a comprehensive perspective on the changes that have occurred. RESULTS: Changed role behaviors in patient care and professional interaction, including increased emphasis on evaluation, planning, teaching, supervising, and collaboration, appeared to be extensions of unchanged role behaviors. Reported changes in the structural and professional context of physical therapy services included using critical pathways to guide care, providing services system-wide, and using educational activities and meetings to maintain a sense of community. The importance of professionalism to physical therapists' work was identified and related to specific role behavior changes. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The changing role of physical therapists in acute care hospitals includes an increased emphasis on higher-level skills in patient care and professional interaction and the continuing importance of professionalism. (+info)
Radiation dose to patients and personnel during intraoperative digital subtraction angiography.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The use of intraoperative angiography to assess the results of neurovascular surgery is increasing. The purpose of this study was to measure the radiation dose to patients and personnel during intraoperative angiography and to determine the effect of experience. METHODS: Fifty consecutive intraoperative angiographic studies were performed during aneurysmal clipping or arteriovenous malformation resection from June 1993 to December 1993 and another 50 from December 1994 to June 1995. Data collected prospectively included fluoroscopy time, digital angiography time, number of views, and amount of time the radiologist spent in the room. Student's t-test was used to assess statistical significance. Effective doses were calculated from radiation exposure measurements using adult thoracic and head phantoms. RESULTS: The overall median examination required 5.2 minutes of fluoroscopy, 55 minutes of operating room use, 40 seconds of digital angiographic series time, and four views and runs. The mean room time and the number of views and runs increased in the second group of patients. A trend toward reduced fluoroscopy time was noted. Calculated effective doses for median values were as follows: patient, 76.7 millirems (mrems); radiologist, 0.028 mrems; radiology technologist, 0.044 mrems; and anesthesiologist, 0.016 mrems. CONCLUSION: Intraoperative angiography is performed with a reasonable radiation dose to the patient and personnel. The number of angiographic views and the radiologist's time in the room increase with experience. (+info)
Safe working practices and HIV infection: knowledge, attitudes, perception of risk, and policy in hospital.
OBJECTIVES--To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of risk of occupational HIV transmission in hospital in relation to existing guidelines. DESIGN--Cross sectional anonymous questionnaire survey of all occupational groups. SETTING--One large inner city teaching hospital. SUBJECTS--All 1530 staff working in the hospital in October 1991 and 22 managers. MAIN MEASURES--Knowledge of safe working practices and hospital guidelines; attitudes towards patients with AIDS; perception of risk of occupational transmission of HIV; availability of guidelines. RESULTS--The response rate in the questionnaire survey was 63% (958/1530). Although staff across all occupational groups knew of the potential risk of infection from needlestick injury (98%, 904/922), significantly more non-clinical staff (ambulance, catering, and domestic staff) than clinical staff (doctors, nurses, and paramedics) thought HIV could be transmitted by giving blood (38%, 153/404 v 12%, 40/346; chi 2 = 66.1 p < 0.001); one in ten clinical staff believed this. Except for midwives, half of staff in most occupational groups and 19% (17/91) of doctors and 22% (28/125) of nurses thought gloves should be worn in all contacts with people with AIDS. Most staff (62%, 593/958), including 38% (36/94) of doctors and 52% (67/128) of nurses thought patients should be routinely tested on admission, 17% of doctors and 19% of nurses thought they should be isolated in hospital. One in three staff perceived themselves at risk of HIV. Midwives, nurses, and theatre technicians were most aware of guidelines for safe working compared with only half of doctors, ambulance, and paramedical staff and no incinerator staff. CONCLUSIONS--Policy guidelines for safe working practices for patients with HIV infection and AIDS need to be disseminated across all occupational groups to reduce negative staff attitudes, improve knowledge of occupational transmission, establish an appropriate perception of risk, and create a supportive and caring hospital environment for people with HIV. IMPLICATIONS--Managers need to disseminate policy guidelines and information to all staff on an ongoing basis. (+info)
An approach to an index of hospital performance.
Two indexes are described, based on measures of administrative effectiveness and patient care effectiveness. The measures used were selected and ranked by a Delphi panel from a list of 30 measures drawn from the literature. Weights were assigned by the panel to 19 selected measures. The resulting indexes did well in a test on data collected from 32 Texas hospitals. (+info)
Feasibility of routine testing for hepatitis B surface antigen in hospital employees and restriction of carriers.
In 1972-73, 48 hospital staff members were tested selectively for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg); 4 (8.3%) were found to be HBsAg-positive. In 1974-75, 1415 staff members were tested routinely before employment and at periodic health examination; 25 (1.8%) were found to be HBsAg-positive. Of the HBsAg-positive staff members 55.2% were Asians, this proportion being significantly (P less than 0.05) greater than that of any other ethnic group, and 31.0% were southern Europeans. Nurses and laboratory technologists were the largest professional groups among the HBsAg-positive staff, each accounting for 20.7%. Our results indicate that it is impractical to carry out routine testing of hospital staff for HBsAg. Selective testing and restriction from work in their units is proposed for staff of the renal and peritoneal dialysis units, the emergency department and the intravenous team and dietary staff who handle food directly. (+info)
Maintaining continuity of clinical operations while implementing large-scale filmless operations.
Texas Children's Hospital is a pediatric tertiary care facility in the Texas Medical Center with a large-scale, Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)-compliant picture archival and communications system (PACS) installation. As our PACS has grown from an ultrasound niche PACS into a full-scale, multimodality operation, assuring continuity of clinical operations has become the number one task of the PACS staff. As new equipment is acquired and incorporated into the PACS, workflow processes, responsibilities, and job descriptions must be revised to accommodate filmless operations. Round-the-clock clinical operations must be supported with round-the-clock service, including three shifts, weekends, and holidays. To avoid unnecessary interruptions in clinical service, this requirement includes properly trained operators and users, as well as service personnel. Redundancy is a cornerstone in assuring continuity of clinical operations. This includes all PACS components such as acquisition, network interfaces, gateways, archive, and display. Where redundancy is not feasible, spare parts must be readily available. The need for redundancy also includes trained personnel. Procedures for contingency operations in the event of equipment failures must be devised, documented, and rehearsed. Contingency operations might be required in the event of scheduled as well as unscheduled service events, power outages, network outages, or interruption of the radiology information system (RIS) interface. Methods must be developed and implemented for reporting and documenting problems. We have a Trouble Call service that records a voice message and automatically pages the PACS Console Operator on duty. We also have developed a Maintenance Module on our RIS system where service calls are recorded by technologists and service actions are recorded and monitored by PACS support personnel. In a filmless environment, responsibility for the delivery of images to the radiologist and referring physician must be accepted by each imaging supervisor. Thus, each supervisor must initiate processes to verify correct patient and examination identification and the correct count and routing of images with each examination. (+info)
The hospital library online--a point of service for consumers and hospital staff: a case study.
The Health Library at Stanford University is described in the context of electronic information services provided to Stanford University Medical Center, the local community, and Internet users in general. The evolution from CD-ROM-based services to Web-based services and in-library services to networked resources are described. Electronic services have expanded the mission of The Health Library to include national and international users and the provision of unique services and collections. (+info)