December 2012

Health and Safety

Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace
Slips, trips and falls are some of the leading causes of workplace lost-time injury in Ontario. They can occur in any workplace, and nearly 20 per cent of all lost-time injury claims in Ontario relate to slips, trips and falls.

Preventing such injuries should be a key goal of every workplace health and safety program.

Case of Influenza A H1N1 Variant Detected in Ontario
An Ontario resident has been confirmed as having been infected with an H1N1 variant (H1N1v) influenza virus. An influenza virus that normally circulates in animals is referred to as a variant virus when it infects humans.

This adult male patient became ill after close contact with pigs. He is being treated and closely monitored in a hospital in South Western Ontario.

Income is the Great Divide When it comes to Canadians’ Health

A new public opinion poll survey indicates that the health of Canadians is increasingly being affected by how much money they earn, with lower income groups reporting poorer health and greater use of health services than those with higher incomes.

24-hour shifts are a prescription for medical errors

24 hour shifts have always been a norm in the Health Care industry. Although many doctors and medical students pride themselves on their ability to work and perform during these shifts, it leaves many questioning how well they can function late in their shift. This article addresses some of the issues it may cause and how we may be seeing these trends changing in the future.

Human Resources

Ontario Releases Proposed Amendments to Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation
In August of this year, the Ontario government updated amendments to the accessibility requirements for all public spaces. This expands to require that all recreational facilities and public parks and spaces must comply with accessibility requirements.

Rash of Employment Regulations Creates Headaches and Night Sweats for Medical Practices -- But an HR Compliance Assessment Can Help Prevent Penalties, Fines, Lawsuits and Turnover
A modern medical practice involves headaches, chills, fevers and night sweats -- and that's just when it comes to running the business side of the office: Scheduling patients, tracking reimbursement and keeping the practice profitable.

Now there's yet another cause for those symptoms -- the risk of fines, penalties, lawsuits, higher insurance premiums, and staff drama and turnover that can result when the medical practice fails to keep track of human resources issues and fails to comply with dozens of new human resources laws and regulations.

Top 10 Human Resources Best Practices
This articles outlines some of the best practices that any organization or practice should ensure to incorporate in order to stay complaint with HR laws and legislation and provide a strong employee focused workplace.

Managing Layoffs with dignity and respect

Telling an employee that his or her job is being eliminated is, perhaps, one of the most difficult challenges a manager or supervisor may encounter. It is doubly hard for the affected employee to understand this action when they have no control over the decision. Read the 5 step approach of how to manage this unpleasant assignment in a non unionized environment.

Canadian job market increasingly a tale of have and have not occupations: CIBC
Many industries face challenges year over year based on labour surplus or shortages. This article outlines some of the area’s of opportunity predicted into the coming year. On this list, pharmacists, nurse supervisors and registered nurses, physicians, dentists and veterinarians all show up in skill shortages.

Preventing Workplace Violence And Workplace Harassment

Bill 168, an amendment to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, addresses three problems: workplace violence, workplace harassment and domestic violence. Bill 168 acknowledges that supervisors and workers share the responsibility for occupational health and safety.

Industry Updates

New Regulation Gives Pharmacists Ability to Administer Flu Shots, Renew Prescriptions
On October 1st, it was approved that pharmacists would have the ability to administer additional treatments such as vaccines for influenza and the flu.
See the amendments to the act here.

Government of Canada Celebrates Registered Nurses Committed to working with partners to improve access to care
On November 21, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to working with its partners to improve the health-care system by publishing regulations that provide authority to new classes of practitioners to prescribe, administer and provide medications when authorized by provincial or territorial legislation.

These new regulations will improve the flexibility of our health-care system by allowing more practitioners across the country to provide needed care to patients

Drugs for heartburn, cancer may interact to cause adverse effects: Health Canada
Health Canada is updating safety warnings on labelling of a cancer drug and a class of heartburn medications because of a potential interaction between the products that could cause serious health problems.

Safe Sleep for your Baby Brochure
The Public Health Agency of Canada has released more details and information that can be posted about creating a safe sleep environment for babies to lower to chances of SIDS

Expert Panel on Appropriate Utilization of Diagnostic and Imaging Studies

The Expert Panel on Appropriate Utilization of Diagnostic & Imaging Studies will be tasked with providing expert advice to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care on ensuring appropriate utilization of diagnostic and imaging studies in Ontario.
The goal of the panel is to ensure that patients have timely access to high quality diagnostic and imaging studies, while respecting the judgment of the physicians that care for these patients.

Recent Product Recalls / Updates Released by the Ministry

Retailers in B.C. and Toronto Sold "Zhuifeng Tougu Wan": Product Contains Dangerous Amounts of Mercury September 2012

Contaminated Foaming Hand Soap Recalled Due to Dangerous Bacteria October 2012

Health Canada Warns Parent and Caregivers to Stop Using the KidCo PEAPODTM October 2012

Rare risk of cardiac strangulation in children with epicardial pacemaker leads October 2012

Update on use of "Simply Thick" for infants October 2012

New Safety Information: Interaction of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) with Methotrexate October 2012

"Pollen Allergy" Recalled Due to High Arsenic Levels October 2012

Novartis Suspends Distribution of Seasonal Flu Vaccines Agriflu and Fluad in Canada as a Precaution October 2012

Important Information for Canadians: U.S. Meningitis Outbreak October 2012-12-12

Expanded Recall of X3 Clean Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer November 2012

Health Canada Updates Safety Information to Parents and Caregivers Concerning the KidCo PEAPODTM November 2012

Thermography Machines not Authorized to Screen for Breast Cancer November 2012

Distributor Recalls Three Potentially Dangerous Sexual Enhancement Products from Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta November 2012

Advising Canadians about Reed Diffusers December 2012 

Health Canada Suspends Licence of Chemical Testing Laboratory For Providing Falsified Results December 2012

Preventing Botulism in Infants December 2012