It’s Your Call February 2017

OSHA: Glove Types

Nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves have been sold in the market for years, and it is important to wear the right ones for the work you do. How does your facility decide which gloves should be purchased?



Cost should not be the single gauge for choosing the type of glove that your facility uses. Engineering and work place controls that are in place to protect employees from potential hazards and injury should also be considered.

Rubber gloves (nitrile, latex) are typically worn in the medical and dental industry because they protect workers from burns, irritation, dermatitis, and potential exposures to blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). Natural latex or rubber gloves are comfortable and pliable; they resist abrasions caused by sandblasting, grinding and polishing. Nitrile gloves protect from chlorinated solvents. This type of glove is also resistant to abrasion, puncturing, and tearing which is great for jobs requiring dexterity and sensitivity. Effective January 18, 2017, the FDA has issued a ban on the manufacturing, distribution or use of powdered gloves.

HIPAA: Privacy and Security Complaint

Breach audits are one thing, and letters from the Office of Civil Rights are another. If your facility receives a letter of complaint, your first thoughts would probably be to wonder who filed the claim and whether is it a valid claim. Although this may be relevant, responding to the letter is more important. What are the next steps after your office receives a letter of complaint?

OCR letter

The Office of Civil Rights could receive a complaint from anyone: an employee, a patient, a doctor, or anyone else who felt the covered entity violated the privacy or security rule. If the complaint was filed anonymously, you may never know who filed the complaint. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the potential violation according to the HHS website, although, the OCR may extend the deadline beyond 180 days if the complainant can show “good cause.” An entity cannot retaliate in these instances because the complainant has a right to contact OCR immediately in the event of retaliatory actions.

If you get a letter, it will contain some specific information: a short description of the allegation, a list of requests or corrective actions, and the name of the investigator in charge. Be sure to respond by any deadlines that are stated in the letter.  Some letters may provide these details and state that the case is closed, and OCR may follow up with you in the future. More importantly, designate who the privacy and security officer will be for your practice, so that any letter from OCR can be handled appropriately and in a timely fashion.