Delmar Learning Releases Latest Editions of OSHA and OBRA Handbooks to Help Healthcare Facilities Satisfy Government Standards

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Delmar Learning, a leader in educational resources for lifelong learning and part of The Thomson Corporation, today announced the release of the latest editions of healthcare facilities handbooks covering OSHA and OBRA guidelines. The third edition of The OSHA Handbook is designed to assist a healthcare facility, medical or dental office in meeting the requirements created by OSHA in its 1991 Bloodborne Pathogens ruling. The fourth edition of The OBRA Guidelines for Quality Improvement is composed of regulations and self-audit forms that are designed to assist long-term nursing facilities in fulfilling the requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA) of 1987. These two handbooks will help healthcare facilities across the nation comply with the government's standards on protecting both the healthcare employee and the patient or resident.

In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized that healthcare workers faced the serious risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens, especially the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and issued its final standard on Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. Within the past few years, the standard has been updated to reflect current risks, trends and infection control concerns. The OSHA ruling identifies 24 sectors of the healthcare industry and over 500,000 facilities that must comply with the standards. The OSHA Handbook presents details and interpretations of the guidelines set forth by OSHA that can be used by the 5 million healthcare workers in hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare agencies and medical and dental offices. The OSHA Handbook is also recommended for those employed in the following industries: linen and laundry services, waste removal services, funeral homes and mortuaries, veterinarian clinics, and medical equipment companies. Employees of such industries are at risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens since they come in contact with blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials from their own clients or in providing services to healthcare facilities.

The OSHA Handbook is divided into 17 chapters that explain what OSHA is, the risk of the transmission of HIV, and HBV, HVC, and the various methods of reducing the risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens, and other pertinent information. The handbook also provides useful information on prevention of violence in the workplace, ergonomics, hazard communication, hazardous energy, tuberculosis, and the importance of accurate recordkeeping. In essence, the manual covers all areas that would be reviewed on an OSHA survey visit to a healthcare facility. Actual OSHA regulations are included in the appendices. The book provides a turnkey package to assist healthcare facilities in developing the individualized programs necessary for compliance with the OSHA standards.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was created to set a national minimum standard of care and rights for people living in certified nursing facilities. This landmark federal legislation was included in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, also known as OBRA. OBRA established new requirements that ensure nursing facility residents' well being, but it also recognizes their natural right to happiness and fulfillment. The OBRA Guidelines for Quality Improvement is a handbook created to assist long-term care nursing facilities in complying with the OBRA rules and regulations of OBRA. Facilities must comply with the OBRA regulations or risk denial of payment for medicare and medicaid admissions, as well as payment of substantial civil monetary penalties for survey deficiencies. With OBRA regulations, nursing facilities inspectors no longer just concentrate on staff behavior and facility records, they interview residents and their families to determine that their needs are being met. They target certain residents for in-depth reviews and then analyze the care being delivered to ensure that residents' needs are met in accordance with accepted standards of practice.

The OBRA Guidelines for Quality Improvement is divided into 16 sections that individually cover a particular section of the OBRA regulations. The criteria included in each section are divided into care, services, and other areas of concern. Each section contains the exact OBRA regulations along with the interpretative guidelines. Audit forms that enable the facility to analyze its operations and correct any violations against OBRA deficiencies are also included. Use of the audit forms facilitates and simplifies the job of the quality assessment and assurance committee, an OBRA mandate. Proactive facilities will identify and solve their own problems, enhancing regulatory compliance. Using The OBRA Guidelines for Quality Improvement simplifies the task by listing specific areas, activities, practices, and criteria for audits. The audit criteria are formulated to measure the quality and improvement of the care given as well as environmental issues affecting facility compliance.

The audit checklists relate to the quality indicators and provide a response code and check boxes for each criterion. Using the checklists facilitates data retrieval and evaluation of data results for analysis and interpretation. All of the forms and checklists are provided on CD-ROM for easy access. Each audit has a summary of results to guide the facility in solving identified problems or deficiencies and for making notes regarding the findings of the quality improvement committee. Using these tools enhances regulatory compliance and assists the facility in enhancing and improving long-term care delivery to residents.

Source: PRNewswire

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