The impact of multifocused interventions on sharps injury rates at an acute-care hospital

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1999 Dec;20(12):806-11. doi: 10.1086/501588.


Objective: To determine the impact of a multifocused interventional program on sharps injury rates.

Design: Sharps injury data were collected prospectively over a 9-year period (1990-1998). Pre- and postinterventional rates were compared after the implementation of sharps injury prevention interventions, which consisted of administrative, work-practice, and engineering controls (ie, the introduction of an anti-needlestick intravenous catheter and a new sharps disposal system).

Setting: Sharps injury data were collected from healthcare workers employed by a mid-sized, acute-care community hospital.

Results: Preinterventional annual sharps injury incidence rates decreased significantly from 82 sharps injuries/1,000 worked full-time-equivalent employees (WFTE) to 24 sharps injuries/1,000 WFTE employees postintervention (P<.0001), representing a 70% decline in incidence rate overall. Over the course of the study, the incidence rate for sharps injuries related to intravenous lines declined by 93%, hollow-bore needlesticks decreased by 75%, and non-hollow-bore injuries decreased by 25%.

Conclusion: The implementation of a multifocused interventional program led to a significant and sustained decrease in the overall rate of sharps injuries in hospital-based healthcare workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Humans
  • Needlestick Injuries / epidemiology
  • Needlestick Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Personnel, Hospital*