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BACKGROUND: A number of jurisdictions have introduced regulation to accelerate the adoption of safety-engineered needles (SENs). This study examined the transition to SENs in three acute care hospitals prior to and following the implementation of a regulatory standard in Ontario. This paper focuses on the ongoing barriers to the prevention of needlestick injuries among healthcare workers.

METHODS: Information from document review and 30 informant interviews were used to prepare three case studies detailing each organization’s implementation activities and outcomes.

RESULTS: All three hospitals responded to the regulatory requirements with integrity and needlestick injuries declined. However, needlestick injuries continued to occur during the activation of safety devices, during procedures and during instrument disposal. The study documented substantial barriers to further progress in needlestick injury prevention.

CONCLUSIONS: Healthcare organizations should focus on understanding their site-specific challenges that contribute to ongoing injury risk to better understand issues related to product limitations, practice constraints and the work environment.


Chambers, A., Mustard, C.A., Holness, D.L., Nichol, K. and Breslin, F.C. (2015) Barriers to the Adoption of Safety-Engineered Needles Following a Regulatory Standard: Lessons Learned from Three Acute Care Hospitals. Healthcare Policy. 11(1), p.90-101.

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