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Friday, January 29, 2016

Infographic: HIPAA Physical Safeguards

Physical safeguards are set of rules and guidelines that outline how the physical storage and access to protected health information should be managed under HIPAA security rules, according to a new infographic by Vigyanix.

The infographic details the Physical Safeguard requirements for facility access controls, workstation use and security and device and media control.


California Works to Parlay Health Data into Action

Open data may be the key to solving several health issues in the near future, putting coders, data scientists, designers and entrepreneurs at the forefront of this revolution.

We can't realistically expect to make major progress in combating health problems and disparities without a solid grasp of the underlying data about health conditions.
Take the pressing issue of asthma. About 15 percent of California children have asthma, according to data from the California Health Interview Survey. That percentage has stayed stubbornly consistent over the past decade. And there are counties in the Central Valley with rates of emergency room visits for childhood asthma that are double, sometimes triple, the rates in California's coastal regions. Until we know what's going on — and asthma is just one of many examples — we won't be armed with the information we need to act.
Fortunately, we're beginning to make gains in California in opening up access to critical health information. This week's conference that Code for America is putting on in Oakland enables us to assess the work to date and to focus attention on what still needs to be done to publish data openly and then activate interest in their statewide use.
A year ago, the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) launched its Open Data Portal to improve access to non-confidential health data. This library of digital information has grown at an exponential rate to encompass data from nine state departments — more than 130 data sets in all.
Over the last few years, we've learned what to do when government opens its data vaults. The familiar open data playbook, as popularized by local Code for America brigades, is to regularly convene teams of passionate civic technologists who crave open data published by cities. They use these data to power apps, visualizations and other innovations that address community-level needs.
While such a partnership between government and civic technologists works well in a relatively intimate setting like a city, the concept breaks down at a state level. State government, particularly in a populous, sprawling place like California, typically has less capacity than a city to do the local-level outreach around the data it publishes. To make matters worse, local communities and locally focused civic technologists in particular are frequently unaware of valuable state data sets. So published data sets can languish in a kind of open data purgatory, available on a state portal but seldom used in innovative ways for the public good.
That's why the California HealthCare Foundation partnered with CHHS to pilot a program of local health data ambassadors under the banner of theCalifornia Health Data project. They use community engagement to link the treasure in the state health data portal with the needs and passions of local communities. As hoped, we're beginning to see state data used to inform people locally. Take the asthma example. The Fresno Bee last spring published a four-part series on chronic disease among San Joaquin Valley residents, and it included an interactive map of asthma emergency room visits powered by data from the state's portal. Likewise, the team of Sacramento health data ambassadors just launched a compelling, informative data story that underscores asthma disparities across California.
While these ambassadors are engaging their communities, the data bridge is structured to provide a two-way flow of information. On one side are data flowing to local communities, and in return the state receives users' insights and feedback. There are regular calls between the ambassadors and state health data leaders, as well as brown bag lunches to encourage interaction between communities and the state and to tout locally built products.
State staff are now eager to hear from and work with the civic technologists and others who can help spread the knowledge. As a result, we're witnessing a state public health agency that has become more open, collaborative and innovative. So, while open data helps to encourage new, external use of data to create durable products, it also brings together teams of people inside and outside state agencies to build a more effective state government.
We're on the first leg of this journey. It's one thing to create engaging apps and visualizations; it's another for these apps to be used for impact — raising public awareness of issues, shaping policies, and curbing unhealthy behaviors. Encouraging people to act on data is a different — and arguably bigger — challenge than simply using data to educate and inform. There's no reason California can't take the lead in parlaying data into action. Our state represents the essence of technological innovation, with many passionate civic technologists ready to experiment and build. And we have government at the state and local level not only freeing more data to help fuel this invention, but also engaging more with those outside government.
So what do we need to do next to improve health in the state? We need to involve even more of California's talented corps of coders, data scientists, designers and entrepreneurs. They may not have the subject-matter expertise to do this alone, so these technologists and journalists can partner with health care providers, advocacy organizations, and others who understand the needs and the solutions. We need all of them to create data-infused apps, data journalism, and data visualizations that encourage real-world action to solve problems.
Andrew Krackov is the associate director of external engagement for the California HealthCare Foundation. Michael Wilkening is the Undersecretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. This article was originally published on TechWire.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Narrative Theory In eLearning: How Stories Help Us Learn


Friday, October 9, 2015

District Implements Technology System to Help Teachers Protect Classrooms in Active Shooting Situations

A school district in Alabama has become the first in the state to begin implementing a new technology designated to protect teachers and students during active shooter situations.

The technology, called SafeDefend, is "a small box that will be in every room in the Limestone County School System. The device aims to mitigate response time, and protect student life all at the touch of a finger," according to WHNT.com.

The boxes will be available in every classroom and will give each teacher and classroom the opportunity to respond to situations that comprise safety by allowing them to instantly implement an escape and evacuation plan.

"The box uses biometric technology to activate, meaning teachers will use their thumbprint to open the box. The instant the SafeDefend is activated the exact classroom and school location is sent to all local and state first responders. This drastically reduces response time, shaving precious minutes off the arrival of aide," the article said.

The school board also says the boxes contain life-saving contents inside, but have chosen not discuss those contents at this time.

Every school in Limestone County will be equipped with the technology by the end of the first year, costing the school board approximately $350,000.

Limestone County's efforts are a quick response to the re-ignited debate of appropriate school safety methods after last week's shooting at a small Oregon community college that left ten dead.

Recently, presidential candidate Ben Carson prompted support and criticism after supporting armed teachers in schools to increase safety. “'If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere, I'd feel much more comfortable if I knew there on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon...If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't,' Carson said in an extensive interview with USATODAY’s Capital Download," according to WTSP.com.

Read the full article here. Users with access: take our poll below to share your opinion on appropriate safety measures in schools.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

See more at: http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/district-implements-technology-system-help-teachers-protect-classrooms-active-shooting#sthash.zJO7HGjp.dpuf


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Project-Based Learning and Gamification: Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Times of flux should signal the A-OK for some experimentation in schools. My own school, for instance, is encouraging more PBL.
In my room, we've got my advocacy unit on superheroes. Meanwhile, a fundraiser is launching in a sixth-grade room, a seventh-grade science class is doing a national parks tie-in to the upcoming Rose Bowl Parade theme, and a living museum is underway in some history teachers' rooms.
The other big PBL experiment is one that will hopefully create a universal academic experience for many students. Based on curriculum I developed for my new STEM-focused PBL book, I'm guiding students toward anInvention Convention, and I invited any interested teacher to participate.
As a result, I now have approximately 500 students from every subject area ready to begin moving through this unit. But with such an enthusiastic response to the offer comes a happy problem to solve.

Individualized Pacing through a PBL Unit

How do I individualize each student's learning process and pacing? After all, Jose could be brought into my 1:1 classroom by both his language arts teacher and his math teacher, while Christina might only be brought in by her science teacher.
I began thinking, therefore, about how gamification could potentially solve this challenge. While I don't tend to stress gold stars and party points, I realized that "leveling up" might be ideal for this kind of experiment.
I did my research and settled on a company called Rezzly (previously known as 3DGameLabs). It's currently in beta mode and specializes in gamifying higher education and individualized teacher PD. I'm using it, however, to implement the lessons through my middle school PBL unit.
As I learned the program, I began speaking with Lisa Dawley, the CEO of Rezzly. She and her team answered my many questions (and there weremany) to help me lesson plan in a very different way.

How to Prep for a Gamified PBL Unit

Prepping for a gamified unit is very different than prepping for your traditional, linear model. Here are some things I learned:
1. Lesson Plan Using a Web. Gamifying my PBL unit meant I had to plan a web of lessons, not linear ones. I used Popplet to indicate the order lessons became available and which ones were prerequisites to open up next levels of learning. My lesson plans looked a little like this:

So lesson A starts a student on their journey of learning. Kids submit their assignment, and I approve it (which then opens up lessons B and C). B, once approved, opens up D, and so on.
Each lesson incorporates different modalities, like a video or customized screencast, or an activity ranging from formal writing to a simple contribution on a Padlet page or Todaysmeet feed.
And because it's online -- supported by classroom meetings -- the unit doesn't shut down once the bell rings. Students can push through the lessons at their own pace.
2. Plan for Tons of Student Choice. I gave plenty of choice in how students progressed through the unit. Students research, develop pitches, and build 3D prototypes, while crowdsourcing advice about slogans, names, and price points, as well. But they aren't necessarily working in the same order as their neighbor.
They are given resources to learn about basic engineering, designing, and writing, and the scaffolded lessons help them make bite-sized decisions leading up to the big convention in May. But they are doing it along a personalized pathway.
Dawley stresses that gamifying a PBL unit encourages student choice because:
"Gamification supports sequencing strategies and still offers options at the same time... The engagement comes from student choice. Everyone likes to have a say in what they learn and how...our big challenge was to create a learning platform that offered enough curricular options to empower students with choice."
3. Reward for Both Content Proved and Skills Learned. I developed checkpoints with which to reward students for both content learned and skills acquired. Sure, the student gets a grade on a formal writing assignment, which I score, but they also receive badges for accomplishing a task efficiently within a certain amount of days, which is tracked by Rezzly, or in participating in peer-created surveys.
This too had impact on my lesson design. Dawly believes gamification encourages the teacher "to think not only about curricular goals but also achievements for social skills such as 'helped a friend' or 'found and reported a mistake in the quest...quest chains and achievements give the teacher a mechanism for developing those strands of deeper learning found in PBL."
My rewards reflect this new kind of encouragement. Students can earn a "Critical Collaborator" award to a "Rube Goldberg Badge." In amongst it all are assignments that are formally graded. After all, different incentives work for different students.
4. Pilot First Through the Eyes of a Student. I piloted ahead of time using a small subset of students. Six ELA Honors students and eleven students in special education are piloting the lessons and giving me feedback. By working with a small group, I get to see if I've allocated points incorrectly or if a badge doesn't get awarded when it should.
This is a time for experimentation with enthusiasm. Develop the lessons you know will engage and educate. Take risks, and play with the curriculum


Friday, September 25, 2015

7 State Assistance Programs in Georgia to Utilize Fraud Detection Services

In an effort to bottle the tornado of fraudulent claims made each year, seven state assistance programs run by the Georgia Department of Community Health and the state's Department of Human Services will begin using a Fraud Detection-as-a-Service solution next year.

Fraud costs government assistance programs billions each year, and the state of Georgia is doing something about it.

In June, the Georgia departments of Community Health and Human Services entered a four-year contract with Pondera Solutions for a cloud-based fraud detection service. And after its scheduled completion in January 2016, seven state programs will use the service as part of a $237 million Deloitte Integrated Eligibility Services Project.

Participating programs include Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS); and Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Pondera Solutions’ anti-fraud system, which the company calls Fraud Detection-as-a-Service (FDaaS), is different from other anti-fraud systems because it’s cloud based and requires no purchase of software or hardware, CEO Jon Coss said.

“Our system ingests the applicant data, and then we combine that with third-party data sets. Some of them are private business and consumer data sets to check for things like Social Security matches, addresses, deceased files from Social Security Administration,” Coss said. “We’ll check multiple state suspended eligible lists, some federal lists. We do data matching services to knock out what I would call the typical identity theft type issues. We also run the data through models, looking at things like multiple people sharing a bank account, are there behavioral issues that are unusual that might indicate potentially fictitious identity.”

After analyzing the data, the system ranks any found anomalies for potential fraud and returns the user a risk score that allows the agency to decide what sort of action should be pursued next.

Users access the service via an online dashboard.

“It is an extremely intuitive dashboard that includes alerts, geospatial maps, integrated Google Street View, two clicks to data and also a scorecard, which provides that proprietary risk score and allows our clients to build their own risk profiles as well and run those across their entire beneficiary population,” he said.

One advantage to the product, Coss said, is that it’s prebuilt, which means it can be deployed quickly, often in less than 90 days. Further, he said, half his company’s employees are ex-government workers who understand public-sector needs.

Jeff Rolsten, group category manager at the Georgia Department of Administrative Services, said the state likes Pondera for a few reasons, including the service’s many features.

“It’s very easily plugged into the systems that we have," he said, "and it was very robust is why they picked it."

Iowa’s labor department, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), has been using Pondera Solutions’ unemployment insurance fraud detection engine for two years, said IWD CIO Gary Bateman, and the results have been “very positive.”

“They’re very willing to work with you, make changes where they make sense, the whole bit — couldn’t ask for better,” Bateman said. “We have found a lot of fraud that we did not know existed. … They’re able to tie public records into our records and be able to detect patterns that we were never able to detect before.”

When looking at the market, Bateman said he likes Pondera because the company has a good track record. Pondera has also launched systems in Florida and California, and those have been successful, he said. He added that other companies don’t necessarily provide a complete solution.

“A lot of these other companies, they're competition that are running analytic engines, and a lot of times they want to sell you a tool and then you come in and develop the implementation of it to detect your fraud or they will come in at a high price and do it for you,” he said. “With Pondera, you pay for the fraud detection, they host it onsite, they write the programs, they do the whole bit.”


Friday, May 31, 2013

All About OSHA And Medicine

It is always found that physicians, physician assistants, nurse, nurse practitioners and other health professionals frequently encounter work related safety and health question while they are on their job. The present article will enlighten the readers with adequate information and resources and help the clinicians with adequate knowledge about OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

The article discusses about all types of ethical, clinical and regulatory issues. All most all the relevant issues such as specific occupation, hazardous exposure, occupational health topics and specific industries have been discussed about.

Mission mode of OSHA
The mission of OSHA is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for both women and men by the development, settlement and enforcement of standards, in addition to providing training, education plus outreach and compliance assistance. The law ensures safe workplace for the employers.

Present condition
OSHA is up on its toes to spread site-specific information. In its SST (Site-Specific Targeting) -12 releases it has emphasized on inspection plan, that specifies establishing OSHA in the SS-inspection. The target list here bases DART (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred) rates and DAFWII (Days Away from work injury and illness) rates. OSHA maintains a record of high-rated employers for undertaking inspection.

SST-12 related information
The enlisted SST-12 does not mention about construction sites; the other lacuna of the list is it focuses only those establishments that employ 20 or more employees. SST-12 also includes NEIP (National Emphasis Inspection Programs) that target some specific types of injuries (nursing, amputations, combustible dust and residential care facilities or high-risk industries)
SST related information is available from OSHA record keeping data companies, these companies are supposed to maintain these data. OSHA Data Initiative or (ODI) handles these data collection responsibility. OSHA is targeting the manufacturing facilities through DART rate minimum or above 7 percent; while its DAFWII target rate is minimum 5 or above. The DART target rate is 15.0 for the non-manufacturing facilities and for the DAFWII the rate is 14.0.

Work Place related Flu prevention
It is well known that flu season in this year is very much rough. As per NYDaily, 29 states were reeling under severe or high prevalence of this disease / this epidemic (CDC source). If compared with the records of last 10 years, this year’s case has been considered as the worst one. OSHA has launched a dedicated flu related web page for helping both employees and employers.

Although CDC is apathetic to this year’s flu season, you can note down the recommendations as your self-protection in the work place, they are as below:

*     If you are sick stay at home
*     Try to avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
*     Wash your hands with soap and water as frequent as possible for at least 20 seconds. In case you *     don’t have the proximity to the water and soap, use hand sanitizer
*     You must not forget to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if you are tackling your blowing *     nose, sneezing or coughing.
*     When you are tackling these said troubles, you must cover your sneezing or coughing with some tissue paper, if not possible, use your upper sleeve. After this,
*     If you have used tissue paper, dispose them in the no-touch trash bins
*     Keep yourself away from your customers or coworker, at least by 6 feet 
*     Never forget to wash your hands after shaking hands, if possible avoid this decorum as much as possible
*     In case you are using your gloves, you must not forget to wash your hands after removing them
*     Keep your common-touched devices (computers / telephone / and such other gadgets) clean
*     Avoid using other workers’ work tools, office desks, phones and other equipments.
*     If possible, avoid or minimize group meetings, rather make use of text messaging, phones and e-mails. If not possible, avoid close contacts and keep yourself away at least by 6 feet from others. *     Your meeting room must be properly ventilated.
*     If possible, minimize number of visitors to be met personally
*     Try to maintain a healthy life style by paying adequate attention to diet, rest, relaxation and exercise. If you practice all these you can maintain good emotional and physical health.  

If you want to know more about the preventive cares for flues, you can log on to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services managed website flu.gov

A dedicated web page for the Health Care Clinicians
According to the general perception of the OSHA, health workers take the front seat in the matters of tackling occupational injuries. The dedicated webpage is aimed at helping all categories of health professionals such as Physician, assistant physicians, plasticizing nurses, nurses and other medicos to know about the areas like different types of occupational health, regulations and laws that are related with privacy and reporting.

The coverage of the site’s page

Evaluating Occupational Exposures and Injuries
Occupational Health Practice
Medical Screening and Surveillance
Ethics and Confidentiality in Occupational Health
OSHA Requirements for Occupational Medical Records
Reporting a Dangerous Workplace
Recordkeeping – The OSHA 300 Log
Setting up a Safe Outpatient Office
Medical Records – Laws and Confidentiality
Workers’ Compensation

Other than all these, Additional OSHA Resources can be available from additional Professional Resources, Clinical Resources, Academic Resources and Government resources. The page is very helpful for safety professionals, HR personnel and many others.

OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda (semi-annual)
According to the latest report, OSHA’s Office of Management and Budget wing has brought out a full and unified agenda that includes Department of Labor Agency Rule List 

OSHA has highlighted on the information pertaining to (I2P2) Injury and Illness Prevention Program, although it is in its PreRule stage. The upcoming expected program is NPRM, scheduled to be held at December 2013. The final rule stages of these issues are record keeping about illness and injuries, in addition to the reporting requirements plus the revision and updates. The final actions pertaining to all these are expected to be taken place is on May 2013.

At this stage, employers are bound to report to OSHA as quick as possible or within 8 hours, if three or more of their employees are sent for hospitalization. The number is less, if the patient comes under the in-patient category.

Guidance for the Occupational Health Practitioners
The medical professionals, dealing with establishing or working in any health practice, where occupational hazards are involved, have to follow many procedures and protocols when they are in their practice session in industry / freestanding clinic / large clinic / corporate clinic / and any such other establishments. Therefore, following information will be of much help to all the clinicians dealing with the occupational health safety & protection issues for both working men and women.

*     Creation / review of procedures and policies that must comply not only with the OSHA standard, but also with other licensing and certification bodies, should be your prerogatives as a clinician. 
*     As a clinician, Identification of health hazards that have connections with all types of occupations, such as psychological, physical, chemical, ergonomic and biological in any type of industry or self-employments, should be responsibilities.
*     As a health professional, while on medical surveillance or performing or deigning worker examination, you must be careful about adhering to OSHA regulations.
*     You must implement those preventive measures that are attached with the occupation connected health risks as a practitioner. The examples are you must protect workers from hazardous communicable diseases and Blood borne Pathogens.
*     You must understand applicable local and state regulations that are connected with vaccine or pharmaceutical storage, medical waste and workplace safety requirements.
*     You must be well acquainted with calibration, procedures and screening protocols required for the equipments being used, they are audiometers and Spiro meters, and also with the certification mandatory for the staff who are engaged in testing.
*     You need to integrate safety education and workers’ health in to your clinical practice, as much as possible.
*     You need to be aware of safety and health training, as is mandatory on the part of employees to its workers.
*     You must follow confidentiality and ethics attached with occupational health. In the fields of occupational health, ethical issues are common. ACOEM (The American College of Occupational and *     Environmental Medicine) is the custodian of addressing the fundamental issues, because they are attached with the practices of occupational health, as far as they are introduced with the ethics of ACOEM’s code.
*     Occupational health nurses must also keep reviewing code of ethics of AAOHN (American Association of Occupational Health Nurses).
*     ACOEM’s code guides to the clinicians in the matter of workplace based Position Statement on 
*     Confidentiality of Medical Information. This is an important issue.

Evaluating Occupational Exposures and Injuries                    
It is important that you must have the work history. Taking the history of environmental and occupational exposures is one of the most important tools that any clinician should have for evaluating any worker for any type of work related illness or injuries. When dealing with the fitness of duty as well medical surveillance examination, any clinician must have the history of the job duties and occupational history of the worker. As a professional, the clinician must understand a worker’s job exposure, job environment and job responsibilities.

At the time of evaluating an injury, a clinician must have the detailed history of the worker, so that the former can determine the mechanisms of injury and are engaged in recording ergonomic factors and specific work tasks that are thickly connected with the injury or illness.

The factors that are important in this issue are: exposures to biological and chemical hazards, previous work injuries, temperature or such types of environmental factors, tools used recent changes in work process or job tasks, overtime, per day working hours etc. It is also important that worker and workplace related cultural factors, such as his / her primary language must be recorded. ATSDR stands for a good resource in the matter of “Taking an Exposure History”, dealing with the case studies and discussions pertaining to taking an environmental and occupational exposure history [473 KB PDF, 65 pages].

Medical Records pertaining to Laws and Confidentiality
As a professional, clinicians have to deal with occupational health related different types of records. These professionals need to differentiate between the records, the latent confidentiality issues and the rules, pertaining to the records, being specified there-in. Personal medical records are those ingredients that clinicians remain knowledgeable. The records may pertain to routine preventive care, documents related to personal health care, care for chronic diseases and acute illness care.

Possessing Safety Data Sheets
Work exposure can be identified by the clinicians if they obtain SDS (Safety Data Sheets) for the situations where workers were exposed to in their work environment. SDS was previously known as MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets). Employers are supposed to obtain SDS if they are connected with the all-hazardous chemicals. SDS must be made available by the employers to the employees who are susceptible to the exposures. Clinicians, dealing with investigating work related injury or illness must ask the employer or the worker, after obtaining latter’s permission, for the SDS copies. Clinicians have the authority to directly requisite the SDS from the manufacturer.

As a professional, clinician must remain acquainted with the first aid procedures, as envisaged in the SDS. Clinician must also be having the knowledge of training being imparted to the workers. They (clinicians) must also explain the workers about the health hazards, as and where applicable.
For knowing about the surveillance, program and screening of workplace are enlisted in the SDSs. While dealing with exposed workers, health professionals have the right to ask for the SDS from the employers or from the manufacturers. Health professionals can also ask for proprietary ingredients, which may not be enlisted, as a matter of trade secret.

Important issues about Surveillance and Medical Screening
In the matters of occupational health practices, medical evaluations encompass surveillance programs for the people who are engaged in hazardous occupations such as asbestos, lead etc. and clearances for specific jobs duties like screening and using respirators etc. As a goal objective, any medical screening must detect clinical abnormality or disease, before any one falls sick out of it and seeks medical care, especially in those cases when early treatment makes the difference for the patient. The function of medical surveillance is to analyze the health information and enquire about the problems may have occurred in the workplace and needs necessary preventions. If any case is considered as sentinel event or a single case, but requires screening results from those employee groups who are being evaluated for being detected for abnormal health status. Another part of this issue is biological monitoring, that is one of the parts of surveillance examination or screening, for assessing chemical exposures by the analysis of urine or blood or in some case examination of exhaled breath.

Medical surveillance is one of the primary requisites of OSHA, and in some cases, it monitors biological standards. You can have a quick reference of OSHA standard guide if you go through the OSHA's 2009 publication [366 KB PDF*, 40 pages]

Law enforcing medical records
HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act),
ADAAA (the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act)
GINA (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act)

Besides these, individual state has their own laws about the confidentiality and personality of personal medical records.

Among these above three acts, in the first one, HIPPA empowers the employers to have access to some health information that are protected, if the disclosures need to be compatible with laws that has connection with workers’ compensations. There are also some provisions in the HIPPA, through which disclosures can be made as per the requirements of federal or state laws and regulations. Naturally, the health professionals must be careful about the confidentiality when they go for piling up patient information in the occupation based medical records.

It is a common practice by the occupational health clinicians to keep personal health information that may also relate to medical conditions that are not related to work and devoid of exposure records. A few of the OSHA standards entail that employers must secure written opinions from the clinicians engaged in medical surveillance examinations. According to this standard, employers are supposed to instruct the physicians not to mention in writing about the diagnosis or specific findings pertaining t occupational exposure.

OSHA Requirements for Occupational Medical Records
“Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records" (29 CFR 1910.1020)”, which is one of the OSHA’s regulation, necessitates retentions of medical records of occupations for not less than 30 years after a worker is terminated. This is necessary for getting access to the employee’s record even after leaving the job or being terminated. As per the regulation, both exposure and medical records need to be retained. Employers are supposed to provide these records to the employees within a fortnight of request, without charging any thing to the employees. For further information, you can refer to OSHA Publication’s Medical and Exposure Records [1 MB PDF*, 8 pages].

Recordkeeping Regulation, as is mentioned in the OSHA 300 Log
According to this regulation, (29 CFR 1904) binds the employers to maintain document specific information that are related to work related injuries or illness, provided the employee number is more than ten and the occupations are not in the categories of real estate, insurance, finance, low hazard retail etc. Employers may consult the clinicians for deciding about the mandatory and non-mandatory references to be made in their (employers) logbooks. Every type of work related illness or injuries that require medical interventions, above the first-aid stage, must be mentioned in the record book. Other than this, all types of work related fatalities must be entered in to the record. For further reference, Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements page of OSHA can be of much use.

OSHA & Workers' Compensation
OSHA & workers’ compensation are distinctly definable. The following information can be vital for all the clinicians, especially for those who are newly related with the occupational health; because every single jurisdiction is different, so naturally, all the clinicians must be well aware of local procedures and policies. Any one can refer to the lists of federal & state agencies and their websites. Besides this, Department of Law and OWCP (Office of Workers' Compensation Programs) can be contacted for further information about workers’ compensation for all types of federal employment, including for the coal miners, nuclear energy workers, harbor workers and long offshore workers.

Clinicians must also be careful of avoiding non-work-related medical examination & the related medical recording for maintaining workers’ confidentiality. Clinicians must know that personal medical records and the medical records that are related to workers’ compensation must be kept separately.

Reporting a Dangerous Workplace
It is the responsibility of the clinicians to report about he health hazards to the employer, if the former finds the working conditions of a working place to be unhealthy or unsafe. It is also the responsibility of a clinician to maintain the patient’s confidentiality while discussing with the employer. For further information, refer to (Ethics and Confidentiality in Occupational Health).
Clinicians are empowered to complain at any time to OSHA about the unhealthy or unsafe or hazardous working condition. OSHA has toll free number 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) for 24 X 7 hours of contacts, especially for emergencies.

In case of any work related death of an employee or if three or more employees are hospitalized as inpatient due to work related incident, employers are supposed to contact OSHA within 8 hours after death.

Setting up a dependable Outpatient Office
All the employers are supposed to maintain OSHA standard in their workplaces. One of the mandatory resource offices related to Dental & Medical office, [as is mentioned in 238 KB PDF*, two pages], is necessary if the employee strength is even 2 or 200. OSHA’s Safety & Health topic page is also helpful for the employers and clinicians. OSHA has also digital platforms such as Nursing Home eTool and Hospital eTool.

Further & Additional OSHA Resources
OSHA maintains an office for Occupational Medicine in the name of OOM, which include those medicine physicians who are board certified and attached with OSHA for providing public health and other medical related expertise. The physicians who are in need of knowing different information health and safety can call the office. Professionals like Occupational Medicine Residents, with the interest in OSHA’s Training rotation must contact the residency program director at 202-693-2323 (OOM office).

Another office, OOHN (Office of Occupational Health Nursing) under OSHA, makes uses of foundations of occupation related health nursing by collaborating with OSHA and other related departmental agencies. They also take interest in initiating projects and develop programs that can develop programs pertaining to work related injury and illness. A few of the selected areas include workplace violence, blood borne pathogens, recordkeeping, ergonomics, occupational health surveillance and occupational health management. Further to this, you can contact at (202) 693-2120 for more information.

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