1603d Occupational infectious agents (oia) in hospital facilities – interface between occupational and public health

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IntroductionMainly due to epidemic infections such as SARS and avian influenza, exposure prevention to occupational infectious agents (OIA) has become of increasing interest in hospitals. New models of action between different professionals in hospitals and improving the competence of hospital workers are urgently needed.MethodsAttitudes, knowledge and skills of hospital workers, action models in preventing OIA exposure and the performance of isolation rooms in preventing the spread of microbes in patient wards were assessed in Finnish hospitals. Multi-professional team work between personnel in hospitals and health care (both occupational and public health) but also with the management of hospital facilities were evaluated.ResultBest results in preventing exposure to OIA were found in hospitals where the competence of personnel was high and the staff was committed to use the best practices of exposure prevention. The quality in the performance of isolation rooms played a significant role in results. Close collaboration between occupational health and the staff of infectious diseases but also with public health was found necessary in improving the processes of exposure prevention.DiscussionMulti-professional collaboration between occupational health, the personnel of infectious diseases and public health seems to have a significant role in preventing exposure to OIA. Health care professionals need also to work together with the management of facilities to improve the quality of indoor environment and the performance of isolation rooms. The attitudes and competence of hospital staff in association with good performance of isolation rooms in hospitals are critical related to occupational safety and health of hospital workers.

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