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Public Health Rep. 2002 Jul-Aug;117(4):340-9.

Prevalence of safer needle devices and factors associated with their adoption: results of a national hospital survey.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA.



In this study, we collected and analyzed the first data available on the extent of the adoption of safer needle devices (engineered sharps injury protections [ESIPs]) by U.S. hospitals and on the degree to which selected factors influence the use of this technology.


We gathered data via a telephone survey of a random sample of 494 U.S. hospitals from November 1999 through February 2000.


Although 83% of the sample reported some ESIP adoption, adoption was inconsistent across types of devices. All of the appropriate units in 52% of the facilities had adopted needleless intravenous delivery systems, but the hospitals used other types of ESIPs less often. A respondent's perception that the cost of ESIPs would not be a problem for the hospital was the best predictor of adoption of ESIPs in the facility, explaining 8% of the variance. Other predictors of adoption included the size of the hospital and the presence or absence of state legislative activity on the needlestick issue.


Smaller hospitals may require special encouragement and assistance from outside sources to adopt expensive risk-reduction innovations such as ESIPs. Although use of ESIPs is the mandated and preferred way to protect workers from needlesticks, complete adoption of this technology will depend on the support of the social systems in which it is used and the people who use it.

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