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  • Lessons in fire barrier management

    Part of your everyday job as a hospital safety professional or engineer is dealing with the issue of stopping fire in its tracks. Clearly, one of the biggest enemies to a hospital (and its patients) is a fire because immobile patients can’t easily be evacuated. So it’s your job to make sure that any incipient fire gets stopped dead in its tracks and to make sure that smoke and toxic fumes can’t go anywhere.

  • Improper vaccine storage can cost you

    Southern Ocean Pediatrics and Family Medicine in Manahawkin, New Jersey, cut a check this month for more than $7,000 to the state treasurer’s office. The practice will do so again next month and each month thereafter until February. The payments aren’t for rent, special licensure fees, or insurance premiums. Rather, they’re being sent to the state to cover costs stemming from the mishandling of vaccines that were administered to as many as 900 children.

  • OSHA: Legal questions delay implementation of electronic reporting of injury data

    Less than one week before its scheduled compliance date, OSHA officials delayed a new electronic recordkeeping rule that’s being challenged in more than one federal courtroom. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the new compliance date would be December 1, giving OSHA five months more to review “questions of law and policy” pertaining to the rule finalized last year.

  • Treatment center faces $207k fine as OSHA announcements grow rarer

    A psychiatric treatment center in Massachusetts faces more than $207,000 in proposed penalties after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) accused the facility of failing to adequately protect employees from workplace violence, despite having promised specifically to do so.

  • NFPA works on new active shooter standard

    Just over a year after the massacre at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub—one of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings ever—and a few months after a gunman opened fire at a hospital in New York City, it appears regulatory agencies might be getting serious about trying to stop the next shooting.

  • What's great for moviegoeers is bad for lab safety

    Seeing the movie for the first time used to be like turning the pages of a book you’ve never read. That's how I like it today. ... I don’t want to know too much before going in. The opposite is true for my work in laboratory safety.

Safety Blogs

Mac's Safety Space - The one blog hospital safety professionals need to read
Hospital safety professionals need to check out the latest advice and musings from Steve MacArthur, safety consultant.

Read Mac's Safety Space

All things OSHA for physician practices and ambulatory healthcare settings, including regulatory news, advice and tools for compliance.
Read OSHA Healthcare Advisor


  • Ransomware costs N.Y. hospital nearly $10M

    A hospital that lost control of its computers last spring when hackers unleashed ransomware on its systems has paid nearly $10 million recovering in the past few months.

    The hackers had demanded nearly $30,000 worth of bitcoin as ransom, but officials with Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, New York, declined, knowing there would be no guarantee that the attackers would fully remove their malicious software once paid off, The Buffalo News reported Wednesday.

    Instead, the hospital invested in new hardware and software, and it paid for expert advice. Those categories accounted for about half of what has been spent thus far. The other half accounts for overtime pay, lost revenue, and other expenses. Moving forward, officials expect to spend at least $250,000 more per month to continue upgrading technology and educating employees to ward off future attackers.

    In the wake of this incident, healthcare workers had to resort to old-school pen-and-paper recordkeeping techniques. But this sort of situation could also threaten patient care more directly.

    “Cybersecurity can have a major impact on patient safety,” Mitch Work, MPA, FHIMSS, president and CEO of The Work Group, Inc., told the Patient Safety Monitor Journal. “If hackers are able to access patient records and information, they will conceivably have the capability to change and manipulate patient data, which could have disastrous consequences. Think of [someone] changing medications, patient vital signs, or even diagnoses.”