Needlestick injury prevention: lessons learned from acute-care hospitals in Ontario

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Published: March 2014

by: Chambers A, Mustard C

Needlestick injuries have been identified as an important modifiable risk factor associated with the transmission of blood-borne pathogens between patients and health-care workers. A number of jurisdictions, including the province of Ontario, turned to regulation to accelerate the adoption of safety-engineered needles (SENs) for the prevention of needlestick injuries. Yet surveillance data available in work-related emergency department and workers’ compensation claims records demonstrates that needlestick injuries have not declined substantially in Ontario.

To help stakeholders understand why needlestick injuries continue to occur and what might challenge and support further progress in this area, Institute for Work & Health researchers took a close look at the policies and practices of three acute-care hospitals in Ontario. Program documents were reviewed and interviews were carried out with staff across the three hospitals under study. What the researchers found is documented in this report.