Lab Matters Fall 2020 - Page 32

Clinical Laboratory Biosafety : Understanding Their Needs
M . Marsico 1 , M . Pentella 2 ; 1 Association of Public Health Laboratories , Silver Spring , MD , 2 State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa , Iowa City , IA
Since 2015 , APHL has worked to enhance and improve biosafety and biosecurity capacity in our nation ’ s laboratories . Through the efforts of both the APHL Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee ( BBC ) and Biosafety and Biosecurity Partners Forum , APHL has developed numerous tools , trainings and other resources to support biosafety and biosecurity practices at both Public Health Laboratories along with sentinel clinical laboratories . Recently through the efforts of the BBC and Partners Forum , in 2018 APHL developed the “ Biosafety Practices and Needs in Clinical Laboratories Survey ” intended for sentinel clinical laboratories across the United States to comprehensively assess their laboratory biosafety practices , APHL collected information on ( 1 ) institutional biosafety practices ; ( 2 ) linkages with public health laboratories and ( 3 ) unmet biosafety needs . After reviewing the aggregate survey data , APHL continued their efforts to better understand the sentinel clinical laboratories needs by convening four in person forums in 2019 “ Biosafety Forum : Public Health Laboratory Outreach , Clinical Laboratory Engagement and Needs ” across the country where biosafety professionals and laboratory leadership discussed the current and unmet biosafety and biosecurity needs and challenges of both public health laboratories and clinical laboratories . Currently APHL has collected the top needs addressed from the forums and survey and are addressing them through the BBC , Partners Forum other external partners . This poster will showcase the needs identified from the clinical laboratories and how APHL has and plans to assist these laboratories across the country to better enhance their biosafety and biosecurity practices .
Presenter : Michael Marsico , Association of Public Health Laboratories , Silver Spring , MD , michael . marscio @ aphl . org
Clinical Laboratory Exposure Assessment and Monitoring Tool
R . Nickla 1 , S . Sharp 2 , M . Marsico 3 ; 1 Oregon State Public Health Laboratory , Hillsboro , OR , 2 Michigan Department of Health and Human Services , Lansing , MI , 3 Association of Public Health Laboratories , Silver Spring , MD
Laboratory acquired infections ( LAIs ) are a constant risk in clinical laboratories , and labs are responsible for providing protection to staff , yet exposures to biological agents still occur . Biosafety professionals from public health laboratories and from the clinical laboratory community continuously work to improve biosafety practices to reduce LAI threats . A new resource called , the Clinical Laboratory Exposure Assessment and Monitoring Tool has been developed by APHL members to assist these efforts and will be released in 2020 .
Direct feedback from a Sentinel Laboratory Director of Microbiology was received by an APHL committee member who then shared the idea with the APHL Sentinel Laboratory Partnerships and Outreach Subcommittee and the APHL Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee . The original proposal was to develop an exposure monitoring resource specifically for biothreat agents . The APHL workgroup further developed and expanded this idea to also include more commonly encountered LAIs , in addition to biothreat agents . The workgroup also included other functions and resources which has evolved into the Clinical Laboratory Exposure Assessment and Monitoring Tool . In addition to the comprehensive agent specific exposure monitoring resources , the new tool is designed to assist clinical laboratories with assessing potential exposure events and making their own determinations for low , moderate or high-risk potential exposures . Clinical laboratories can jointly use the tool with their partners such as occupational health , infection control , epidemiologists , or others who may be involved with exposure determinations , symptom monitoring , or other post-exposure follow up needs . Those using the tool will be asked a series of checklist style questions ( e . g ., PPE use , biological safety cabinet use , any aerosol generating procedures , etc .) that will help provide the information needed to make their exposure determinations .
Information generated from the tool assists laboratories with required notifications and with performing their own biological risk assessments from the potential exposure event to aid with follow up and mitigations . The tool is offered in an electronically accessible format and a printed format . Within the tool there is an overview of all the LAI organisms and their expected symptomologies that can be printed in a single large poster size format . There are links to external resources within the tool for biosafety , biological risk assessments , organism risk grouping , as well as agent specific treatment guidelines . Thi2s new standardized information collection method for LAIs can be shared with the broader biosafety and clinical laboratory communities to help aid with enhancing laboratory systems and preventing potential exposure events .
Presenter : Shannon Sharp , Michigan Public Health Laboratory , Lansing , MI , sharps1 @ michigan . gov
Next Stop Biosafety ! Engaging All Levels
S . Escott 1 , M . Marsico 2 , M . Downing 1 ; 1 ABSA International , Mundelein , IL ; 2 Association of Public Health Laboratories , Silver Spring , MD
The 2015 Ebola outbreak highlighted the need for robust biorisk management programs in the public health sector and clinical laboratories as well as the importance of cooperation between various specialties and organizations . ABSA ( The American Biological Safety Association ) International and APHL continue to partner and provide outreach on biosafety and biosecurity topics . One of the many current challenges is the limited funding which has affected all PHL biosafety officers , both in their own biosafety and biosecurity programs and in their outreach to clinical laboratories . In 2019 , clinical laboratory biosafety / biosecurity training and awareness of biosafety best practices were identified as critical needs by state public health biosafety officers . Despite very real potential risks in a clinical setting , these laboratories are typically understaffed and hampered in efforts to provide training opportunities for procedures , such as risk assessment and biosafety inspections , that are not currently mandated by law . This poster will review ABSA-provided educational opportunities , free / low-cost training links , educational / networking opportunities through ABSA regional affiliates , how to access the ABSA public health list-serve open to all , how to access the infectious agent risk group database , among others . This information will be useful to state / city BSOs as well as clinical laboratory managers and safety representatives .
Presenter : Shoolah Escott , ABSA International , Mundelein , IL , shoolah @ gmail . com