Stay On Top Of Your Game!

Edition: April 2002 - Vol 10 Number 04
Article#: 1204
Author: Dr. Sheila Dunn

Medical practice managers are constantly barraged with reams of Federal regulations. Compound this by the fact that they will never have time to read them and certainly not know how to apply them to their practice. Guess who they count on to give them this information? You, of course.

Successful distributor reps are on top of their game. They earn the business and gain customer loyalty by understanding issues that impact medical practices. They have answers to their customers' most common questions.

Are you on top of your game? Find out by taking the self-assessment below. An added benefit to taking this quiz? All of these questions either represent a selling opportunity OR a chance to provide a value-added service to the account. Good luck!

1. Those who soak instruments in one or two bins of glutaraldehyde must wear a badge to measure worker exposure.
A. True        B. False

2. Accounts who use glutaraldehyde must do so under a biosafety hood.
A. True        B. False

3. How often must your customers' employees be trained on OSHA?
A. Once upon hiring
B. Every Six months
C. Every Two Years
D. Annually

4. Physicians' offices can use glass capillary tubes without violating OSHA regulations.
A. True        B. False

5. The safety needle law is now in effect for every medical practice in this country.
A. True        B. False

6. Which type of healthcare worker is most likely to sustain a needlestick?
A. Nurses
B. Doctors
C. Lab Techs
D. Drug Users

7. How many accidental needlesticks does a typical nurse sustain in a lifetime?
A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

8. How often must your accounts run a biological indicator test (spore strip) on an autoclave?
A. Daily
B. Monthly
C. Bi-weekly
D. Weekly
9. OSHA requires that gloves be worn when handling urine specimens.
A. True        B. False

10. OSHA will inspect based on:
A. Patient complaint
B. Employee complaint
C. On a whim
D. All of the above

11. OSHA provides a list of approved safety products in the regulation.
A. True        B. False

12. The bloodborne pathogen that is most likely to infect a health care worker is:
B. Hepatitis B
C. Hepatitis C

13. HEPA filters must be provided for every employee in every practice.
A. True        B. False
14. Urine can be poured down a drain.
A. True        B. False

15. An eyewash station must be identified with a sign for OSHA compliance.
A. True        B. False

ß ß ß ß ß

1. False. This small amount does not exceed safe air levels. Soaking bins must be kept tightly closed, though, to keep air levels low.
2. False. (See answer to 1, above.) Accounts that do extensive high-level disinfection should opt for a safety hood.
3. D.
4. B. Sell every account plastic capillary tubes.
5. A. The last possible date to be in compliance was 10/17/2001.
6. A. Nurses outnumber all other healthcare employees for needlesticks, with physicians placing second. If an account has given a lukewarm reception to the safety needle issue, approach a nurse.
7. D.
8. D.
9. B. Only when urine samples are visibly bloody are gloves required.
10. D. Quality America receives several calls a week from disgruntled accounts who ask for OSHA's number to submit a complaint against their employer.
11. B.Workers must choose the device that works best for their circumstances. OSHA has indicated, however, that needle destruction devices don't substitute for safety needles, except when patients use needles at home.
12. C. Hepatitis C is now the most common pathogen transmitted by needlesticks. When people rushed to give blood after September 11, the Red Cross reported a surprisingly high level of HCV in the general population.
13. B. Most physician offices are such low risk for TB that HEPA masks aren't needed. On the other hand, some practices have recently begun purchasing N-95 masks for other emergency situations (toxic chemical release, anthrax, etc.).
14. A. Urine is not considered a biohazardous substance, unless it is visibly bloody.
15. A.

How did you do?
If you answered more than 13 questions correctly, you are definitely on top of your game. You're a self-starter, very competitive, driven to perfection, attentive to details, and enjoy secretly wearing a plastic pocket protector. You also work long hours and are a real delight to your customers. You've gathered the resources to educate and convert your customers, learned how to handle their objections and are reaping the rewards. Congratulations!

If you answered between 10 and 12 questions correctly, you see the whole regulatory area as a pain in the neck, but an opportunity nevertheless. Begin to get involved in learning the painful details so that when asked by customers, you can show off your expertise and earn their business!

If you answered less than 10 questions correctly, call whatever manufacturer reps you know that sell safety products (See Box) and pick their brains. This can be a real opportunity to increase sales, especially if the competition is asleep at the wheel!

Product Opportunities
• OSHA Manual (Exposure Control Plan)
• OSHA Training Video
• Eyewash Faucets
• Sharps Containers (each exam room)
• Biohazard Bags
• Biohazard Lab Specimen bags
• BP Unit (non-mercury)
• Sharps Container
• Thermometer (non-mercury)
• Autoclave
• CPR Mask
• Portable Fire Extinguishers
• MSDS Binder
• Personal Protective Equipment: Gowns, Gloves, Face Shields
• Safety Needles
• Safety Scalpels
• Safety Lancets
• Plastic Capillary tubes
• Spill Kit(s)

Dr. Sheila Dunn heads Quality America, Inc., an Asheville, NC based consulting firm that publishes an OSHA Safety Manual, Video and Newsletter. Quality America's newest products are a “Sharps Injury Reduction Program'' video and the HELP Book, an Emergency Action Guide. Quality America products are sold through distribution. For more information, call 800-946-9956, or visit Quality America's OnLine Resource Center @