OSHA issues tools to help prevent workplace violence in health care settings
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) unveiled a new Web page developed to provide employers and workers with strategies and tools to prevent workplace violence in health care settings.

The Web page, part of OSHA'sWorker Safety in Hospitals website, complements the updated Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers, published earlier this year. The new Web page includes real-life examples from health care organizations that have incorporated successful workplace violence prevention programs, and models of how a workplace violence-prevention program can complement and enhance an organization's strategies for compliance and a culture of safety.

"Too many health care workers face threats and physical violence on the job while caring for our loved ones," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "It is not right that these valuable workers continue to be injured and sometimes killed on the job. Most of these injuries are preventable, and OSHA is providing these resources to help combat these incidents and raise awareness that violence does not need to be part of the job."

Also this week:

APIC study says clinical workstations an overlooked area in environmental cleaning
Researchers from Western Sydney University in Australia conducted a pilot study using three different sampling methods in a busy intensive care unit in an attempt to discover if and where multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) might still be lurking in spite of routine environmental cleaning. Investigators traced the steps of health care workers in between their workstations and patient bedsides and sampled commonly touched objects along the way for MDROs. Nine of 13 confirmed MDROs from any area came from clinical workstations, including on chairs, clipboards, keyboards, telephones and a computer mouse.

AAMI releases compendium to help hospitals with alarm-management goal
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation's complimentary Clinical Alarm Management Compendium provides specific tips and outlines practices already being used by leading institutions. The toolkit is designed to help health care organizations meet the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goal on clinical alarms. Starting Jan.1, the Joint Commission will expect hospitals to establish and implement policies and procedures for managing clinical alarms, and surveyors will start documenting noncompliance to the second phase of the goal.

ASHE, Joint Commission post new resources on safety of built environment
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) and the Joint Commission have released new resources on Joint Commission requirement EC.02.06.01 to help hospitals establish and maintain safe, functional environments. ASHE's Focus on Compliance Web page and the Joint Commission's Physical Environment Portal offer guidance on medical gas cylinder storage, safety hazards and airflow and HVAC issues.

HHS offers secure information-sharing on preparedness and response issues
Health & Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response encourages hospitals and other stakeholders to sign up to participate in its Information Exchange, which allows authorized users to participate in conversations about health threats and to share preparedness plans, promising practices and other information in a password-protected environment.