Health Care Agency - What's Up - keeping staff informed and current

Issue 13-10

October 2013

Inside this issue …

 


PHL staff represent HCA at TB Conference

Three Orange County Public Health Laboratory (PHL) Microbiologists Minoo Ghajar, Mariam Zhowandai, and Sunita Prabhu, represented HCA at the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) 8th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis held in San Diego from August 19-21, 2013.

Last year, OCPHL was awarded an APHL/Centers for Disease Control grant Study on the Performance Evaluation of Molecular Methods for Tuberculosis (TB). This study was conducted in collaboration with HCA’s TB Control Program.

During the August conference, PHL staff member Minoo Ghajar participated as a guest speaker and provided a discussion on “Performance Evaluation and Clinical Application of NAAT in Orange County, CA.”

Mariam Zhowandai and Sunita Prabhu also presented a scientific poster on the “Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert MTB/RIF Assay” (co-authors included Richard Alexander and Michelle Wood) during the conference. The PHL has been using the Cepheid instrument since June 2011 for rapid, direct detection of TB and resistance to Rifampin (one of the drugs used for treatment of TB) from respiratory specimens. Rifampin-resistance is used for early detection of Multiple-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB.

Public Health Lab staff members pictured (left to right) Sunita Prabhu, Minoo Ghajar and Mariam Zhowandai attended the APHL 8th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis held in San Diego from August 19-21, 2013.
Public Health Lab staff members pictured (left to right) Sunita Prabhu, Minoo Ghajar and Mariam Zhowandai attended the APHL 8th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis held in San Diego from August 19-21, 2013.

Minoo Ghajar served as a guest speaker at the APHL TB Conference held in San Diego.
Minoo Ghajar served as a guest speaker at the APHL TB Conference held in San Diego.

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Eat Healthy - Be Active iconHalloween Health and Safety TipsChildren with face painted pumkins

Autumn events like Halloween and Harvest Day are fun times to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating, attend parties, and eat yummy treats. It’s also a good time to encourage nutritious snacks, physical activity, and focus on safety.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

Going trick-or-treating? Have a SAFE HALLOWEEN!?

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control Halloween Health and Safety Tips website at www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm.

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Compliance Past, Present and FutureCompliance Update

2013 marks the 13th year of HCA’s Compliance Program since its inception in 2000 with Dave Riley serving as the first Chief Compliance Officer for HCA. Under his direction, Mr. Riley built the foundation for HCA’s Compliance Program by creating the following:

The compliance landscape has changed significantly since 2000. The countywide HIPAA Privacy Officer responsibility was also assigned to the Chief Compliance Officer for HCA. In recent years, HIPAA Privacy issues rival compliance issues in numbers and complexity. The trend observed throughout the compliance field is that privacy incidents are being reported in record numbers and enforcement for privacy violations are increasing.

The HCA Compliance Team is constantly working to keep up with the changing laws and regulations affecting health care privacy and security in California and across the nation. The healthcare world can be a high-risk and challenging environment that demands a proactive compliance approach. Being certified helps demonstrate expertise in helping mitigate compliance-related risks.

Nikoo Tabesh, HCA Privacy Analyst and Caroline Matthew, HCA Compliance Analyst recently obtained their Certifications in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC). This certification requires knowledge of relevant regulations and expertise in compliance, privacy, and compliance operations. HCA is preparing for our future by ensuring we have well trained qualified individuals in the Compliance Program to address any type of privacy or compliance concerns that we may encounter.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Compliance Hotline (866) 260-5636-The HCA Compliance Program offers a confidential telephone hotline to vice your concerns about any situation that may conflict with Compliance Program principles. You may call the hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the number shown above.

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Tips on Defensive Driving

When people think of job hazards at the Health Care Agency it is usually in reference to the health hazards that are often associated with working in the medical field and with the public. However, HCA’s greatest hazard has nothing to do with a medically related exposure. In fact, the hazard is often found in almost every department throughout the Agency. Still guessing what that hazard might be? The answer is driving a vehicle.

Surprisingly, driving a vehicle for HCA on County time is one of the greatest hazards that HCA employees are potentially exposed to. In fact, it can be such a serious hazard that CEO Risk Management Safety Loss and Prevention requires all County employees who drive as part of their job assignment to take Defensive Driving Training when they initially begin their assignment, and continue with refresher training every two years thereafter.

The HCA Safety Office would like to remind HCA employees that although there are many actions and conditions that drivers are unable to control while driving a vehicle, there are a few techniques that drivers can do that may assist in preventing many common vehicle accidents such as rear end collisions.

Allow adequate following distance. The National Safety Council, California Department of Motor Vehicles, and CEO Risk Management all encourage drivers to follow a “three second rule” to ensure enough braking distance between vehicles. For more information regarding the “three second rule” please visit www.driversedguru.com/driving-articles/drivers-ed-extras/the-3-second-following-distance-rule/.

Watch vehicle speed; speed plays a huge part in how much braking distance is needed between vehicles. The faster a vehicle is moving, the more braking distance it requires to stop!

Staying current on Defensive Driver Training; one of the best ways to prevent vehicle accidents and even a traffic ticket or two is to attend a Defensive Driver Refresher course to obtain up to date driving laws and prevention tips. In fact, HCA conveniently offers Defensive Driver Refresher Training for HCA employees at their own work location!

For more information on how to arrange a Defensive Driver Refresher Training for your specific HCA work location or for any other Defensive Driving related questions, please contact the HCA Safety line at (714) 834-SAFE.

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In the Spotlight iconHCA Radiology Techs recognized

HCA Radiology Techs recognized National Radiologic Technology (RT) Week from Nov. 3-9, 2013, celebrates the important role that medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in patient care and healthcare safety. The images produced are vital in the medical evaluation process and in the lives of many patients.

This year’s RT Week theme focuses on “R.T.s: Positioning Ourselves for Excellence.” The radiology profession is ever changing due to the advances made through research and development on a worldwide scale. New equipment, software and radioactive isotopes are always on the horizon.

The field of radiology is very diverse and includes all diagnostic imaging, as well as therapeutic modalities. The Health Care Agency utilizes the diagnostic imaging modality daily. The primary use is for screening and treatment follow-up of communicable tuberculosis (TB). Public Health has two clinics that are fully equipped with digital technology to serve the public in this endeavor to keep everyone safe and disease free: one in Santa Ana and the other in Westminster.

The Radiologic Technologists in Public Health exhibit excellence daily during each exam, protecting each and every individual patient by using radiation safety practices that are not only necessary for the patient, but the radiation worker as well.

Unlike the skeletal images displayed in windows or hung in various areas on Halloween, Radiologic Technologists deal with the skeleton on a more professional level. Not only the skeleton, but all parts of the body have a way of imaging to provide an important diagnostic tool for healthcare.

With all of today’s new technological advances, the chest X-ray is still the most common - given approximately 90% of the time among the millions of exams throughout the world. Another little known fact is that the imaging profession utilizes 264 shades of gray!

For more information about National Radiologic Technology Week or the field of Radiologic Technology, visit the American Society of Radiologic Technologists website at www.asrt.org/events-and-conferences/national-radiologic-technology-week.

HCA Radiologic Technologists pictured (left to right) are Duane Nielsen ARRT, CRT Imaging Services Supervisor; Norma Guillen ARRT, CRT Technologist; and Tuan Nguyen ARRT, CRT Technologist.
HCA Radiologic Technologists pictured (left to right) are Duane Nielsen ARRT, CRT Imaging Services Supervisor; Norma Guillen ARRT, CRT Technologist; and Tuan Nguyen ARRT, CRT Technologist.

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In the Spotlight iconBarrera selected as CCS Employee of the Quarter

Congratulations to Aldo Barrera, Office Specialist with the California Children’s Services (CCS) program, on being selected as the CCS employee of the quarter on September 5, 2013.

As an Office Specialist, Aldo answers phone calls from providers and families, renews authorizations for medical services, and provides office support to the medical staff. Aldo is recognized by his peers as an exceptional employee who is dedicated, approachable, and eager to help the CCS nurses and families.

Candidates are nominated for the CCS employee of the quarter by their peers for their outstanding and significant contribution to CCS or the work environment, their leadership skills, being a team player, and commitment to the children and families served by the CCS Program.

CCS is a statewide program that provides medical case management for children with special health care needs and medically necessary physical and occupational therapy through the Medical Therapy Program. The program provides services to more than 13,500 children from birth to 21 years with qualifying medical conditions. Goals of the CCS program are to promote a child’s optimum health potential, increase the level of functional independence and improve the quality of life for the child and their family.

For more information about the CCS program, visit the CCS webpage at http://ochealthinfo.com/about/medical/ccs/.

Pictured (left to right) are CCS Division Manager Lynn Einarsson Woods and Aldo Barrera.
Pictured (left to right) are CCS Division Manager Lynn Einarsson Woods and Aldo Barrera.

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November Health Observances

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Quote

Awareness of both your limitations and your potential enhances humility.

—Sheila Murray Bethe

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What's UP is a newsletter for employees of the County of Orange, CA, Health Care Agency.

Editors
Tricia Landquist
Deanne Thompson
Anne Fialcowitz

Phone (714) 834-6644
Email tlandquist@ochca.com 
FAX (714) 834-7644
Pony Bldg. 38-S, 4th Floor 

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