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The Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) is requesting information from occupational health professionals nationwide through its EXPO-S.T.O.P. (EXPOsure Survey of Trends in Occupational Practice) survey to continue to expand knowledge on sharps injuries and mucocutaneous blood and body fluid exposure rates in the United States and across the globe.
Blood exposure among healthcare workers is a serious occupational risk that healthcare facilities strive to reduce, yet the United States had no nationwide database for citing or benchmarking sharps injuries and mucocutaneous exposures prior to AOHP's commissioning of EXPO-S.T.O.P. The organization, which is dedicated to conducting practice-driven research, called on its diverse membership of occupational health professionals who work in healthcare to submit a wide range of data. This targeted information from hospitals across the country for the years 2011 and 2012 has been analyzed as the basis to establish the first nationally representative blood exposure database and benchmark resource.
AOHP members from 125 hospitals in 29 states provided 2011 data, which increased to more than 150 hospitals providing data for 2012. To expand on the survey's current success, AOHP 's goal in collecting data from 2013 and 2014 is to receive input from an even greater number of participants from both hospital and non-hospital settings by encouraging non-members, as well as AOHP members, to submit survey information. All occupational health professionals who work in a healthcare setting are asked to complete the survey by March 16, 2015 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EXPOSTOP2013-2014. The 15-question survey inquires about 2013 and 2014 calendar year data and, and accurate responses will require a small time investment from participants. All responses are confidential, and no organization identification will be released.
The EXPO-S.T.O.P. electronic survey, the largest annual survey of its kind conducted in the United States, was first developed and distributed to AOHP members across the nation in 2012 (collecting 2011 data) to ascertain blood exposure incidence and denominator data. AOHP publishes the survey results to help healthcare facilities enumerate and categorize blood exposures to better understand how they occur, how they can be reduced and what resources are required to achieve their reduction. The survey also identifies best practices in hospitals with low incidence rates of blood exposures.
The results of the initial EXPO-S.T.O.P. survey show a higher incidence of blood exposures than in other contemporary surveys and report that little reduction in blood exposure rates has occurred in the last decade, estimating that more than 440,000 U.S. healthcare workers sustain blood exposures annually. AOHP is committed to updating and reporting this information to compel healthcare facilities across the nation to identify new methods to protect healthcare workers from blood exposures and to set the goal for blood exposures at zero.