Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2002 Jul;28(7):410-4.
doi: 10.1016/s1070-3241(02)28041-4.

Reducing Sharps Injuries Among Health Care Workers: A Sharps Container Quality Improvement Project

Affiliations

Reducing Sharps Injuries Among Health Care Workers: A Sharps Container Quality Improvement Project

Irene B Hatcher. Jt Comm J Qual Improv. .

Abstract

Background: Many needlestick injuries at Vanderbilt University Medical Center were found to be related to the method of disposal in sharps containers. The "straight-drop" system allowed staff to stuff more needles into a full box, resulting in needlestick injuries. This was also a common problem elsewhere, as reflected in the literature. ANALYZING THE PROBLEM: A multidisciplinary committee reviewed other sharps containers, piloted one, found problems, and then piloted and selected another. Implementation was complex and difficult, but focus was kept on the goal of decreased needlestick injuries. Staff identified other problems, which were taken to the manufacturer of the sharps container selected and resulted in product design changes.

Results: Several months after implementation, data analysis showed that the needlestick injury rate was reduced by two-thirds, a statistically significant change (p = 0.002). Despite the increased cost of the sharps container, savings of prevented needlestick injuries represented a total cost savings to the medical center of more than $62,000 a year.

Discussion: This experience is an example of real-life implementation--and the problems institutions may have to overcome before success can be realized.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 5 articles

MeSH terms

Substances

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback