BJC HealthCare is one of the largest nonprofit health-care organizations in the United States, delivering services to residents primarily in the greater St. Louis, southern Illinois and mid-Missouri regions. With net revenue of $2.6 billion, BJC HealthCare serves urban, suburban and rural communities and includes fourteen (14) hospitals and multiple community health locations. Services include inpatient and outpatient care, primary care, community health and wellness, workplace health, home health, community mental health, rehabilitation, long-term care and hospice.

As one of the largest nonprofit health-care delivery organizations in the country, BJC HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of the people and communities served through leadership, education, innovation and excellence in medicine.

BJC HealthCare maintains an Environmental Safety and Health (EH&S) system committee comprised of representative Safety Managers from each location. The committee reviews performance metrics, current regulations, industry standards, and best practices, and also develops policies, &programs and materials as part of the overall mission. One recent EH&S committee goal has been to focus on the management of Hazardous Materials and Waste.

This session will address compliance requirements surrounding a healthcare network in the area of hazardous materials and waste management, as it relates to both OSHA and EPA standards. The presentation will emphasize the key issues found at our locations, outline our solution processes, as well as provide tools to assist hospitals with their overall hazardous materials management process.

When the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published their guidelines for "Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and other Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings" in 2004, BJC HealthCare conducted a risk assessment to help assess potential issues and identify any gaps in performance. This initial risk assessment determined that there were some inconsistencies among the hospitals pertaining to the management of hazardous materials and waste.

Initially in 2005, the focus was to determine possible solutions within the pharmacies to assist them in managing their hazardous drug inventory, as well as to ensure compliance with the regulations. A "task group" of key content experts within the system was formed to review the current processes and make improvements in this area. Then, in 2006, the BJC System EH&S Committee agreed to add as a general goal for all hospital locations, the improvement of hazardous materials and waste management. This continues to be a goal for our locations into 2007.

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