Healthcare Worker Safety and Occupational Health
Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes
IPC and occupational health (OH) are essential to protecting patients, visitors, and healthcare personnel (HCP) from communicable disease. Although methods and priorities differ, each can be a strong ally for preventing infections within healthcare facilities. Realizing the potential strength of this partnership is essential for a streamlined, efficient, and cohesive strategy to manage many potential HAIs and exposures to bloodborne pathogens, influenza, tuberculosis, meningitis, pertussis, MDROs, and emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola.
Because these diseases pose risks to both patients and HCP, lines are often blurred between IP and OH responsibilities. Development of a strong relationship between these disciplines is critical to building a robust prevention and response process while avoiding duplication of efforts.
This session will provide a method for establishing and maintaining this strong and will describe how daily work and incident responses can be organized to maximize cohesion and prevent disease transmission to patients, visitors, and staff.
Two IPs, each from a large healthcare system, will lead this session, highlighting their real-life experience with recent incidents in which cross-disciplinary coordination helped to prevent exposures to and transmission of epidemiologically important pathogens within the organization. Lastly, they will identify opportunities for IPs to provide leadership and support while assisting OH to improve its approach to surveillance, data collection, education, and policy development.