HEPATITIS B VACCINATION, POST EXPOSURE EVALUATION & FOLLOW UP

Everyone in our facility recognizes that even with good adherence to all of our exposure prevention practices, exposure incidents can occur.  As a result, we have implemented a Hepatitis B Vaccination Program, as well as set-up procedures for post-exposure evaluation and follow-up should exposure to bloodborne pathogens occur.

VACCINATION PROGRAM

To protect our employees as much as possible from the possibility of Hepatitis B infection, our facility has implemented a vaccination program.  This program is available at no cost, to all employees who have occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens.

The vaccination program consists of three (3) inoculations over a six (6) month period.   As part of their bloodborne pathogens training, our employees have received information regarding Hepatitis vaccination, including its safety and effectiveness.

The EHRS Department is responsible for overseeing our vaccination program.

Vaccinations are performed under the supervision of a licensed physician or other licensed health care professional.

To ensure that all employees are aware of our vaccination program, it is thoroughly discussed in our bloodborne pathogens training.

All exposed employees who want the vaccinations should complete the Consent to Vaccinate Form. Training must be completed before vaccinations are received. Vaccinations will be provided at a nearby medical facility during working hours and at no cost to the employee. Vaccinations will be made available within 10 working days of initial assignment where there is an occupational exposure.

Employees who decline to accept Hepatitis B vaccination must sign the Declination Form at the bottom of the Consent to Vaccinate form. However, if an employee later decides to accept the vaccination, it will be made available to the employee at that time, at no cost.

If a routine booster dose(s) of Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service at a future date, booster dose(s) will also be made available at no cost.

POST EXPOSURE EVALUATION AND FOLLOW-UP

If one of our employees is involved in an incident where exposure to bloodborne pathogens may have occurred, there are two (2) things that we immediately focus our efforts on:

Immediate Treatment:

Reporting and Treatment Procedure:  See Accident Reporting in the Safety Manual for more information.

The Safety Committee investigates exposure incidents that occur in our facility.  This investigation involves gathering the following information:

After this information is gathered, it is evaluated, a then a written report of the incident and its causes is prepared.  Recommendations are made for avoiding similar incidents in the future. 

OSHA Recordkeeping - An exposure incident is evaluated to determine if the case meets OSHA's Recordkeeping requirements.  This determination and the recording activities are done by the Director of Environmental Health and Radiation Safety. 

In order to make sure that our employees receive the best and most timely treatment if an exposure to bloodborne pathogens should occur, our facility has set up a comprehensive post-exposure evaluation and follow-up process.  This process is overseen by the following departments:

  1. Human Resources Department
  2. Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department

We recognize that much of the information involved in this process must remain confidential, and we will do everything possible to protect the privacy of the people involved.

Employees are transported to a nearby medical facility for post-exposure evaluation and follow-up.

As the first step in this process, the consulting health care professional will provide an exposed employee with the following confidential information:

Identification of the source individual, if applicable. (unless infeasible or prohibited by law)

Next, if possible, the source individual's blood is tested to determine HBV or HIV infectivity.  This information will also be made available to the exposed employee, if it is obtained.  At that time, the employee will be made aware of any applicable laws and regulations concerning the disclosure of the identity and infectious status of the source individual.

Finally, the blood of the exposed employee is collected and tested for HBV and HIV status within seventy-two (72) hours of the incident (an employee may decline this step).

Once these procedures have been completed, the healthcare professional will discuss the exposed employee's medical status with him/her.  This includes an evaluation of any reported illnesses, as well as any recommended treatment.

INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL

To assist the healthcare professional we will forward any documents that are requested, including the following:

HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS WRITTEN OPINION

After the consultation, the physician or health care professional provides our facility with a written opinion evaluating the exposed employee's situation.  In keeping with this process, emphasis on confidentiality, the written opinion will contain only the following information:

All other findings or diagnosis will remain confidential and will not be included in the written report.

MEDICAL RECORDKEEPING

The Consulting Health Care Professional and the Human Resources Department are responsible for maintaining medical records on our employees.  This information will include the following:

As with all information in these areas, we recognize that it is important to keep the information in these medical records confidential.  We will not disclose or report this information to anyone without our employee's written consent (except as required by law).


University of the Sciences in Philadelphia • 600 South Forty-third Street • Philadelphia, PA 19104-4495 • phone: 215-596-8800 • email: safety@usp.edu