Cost Savings With Increased Staff Safety
It's not just about saving money on paper — CSTDs also protect workers, and that can save you the cost of a lawsuit. In conventional dispensation methods, healthcare workers can be exposed to hazardous substances that can put their health at risk. The CDC believes that about 8 million healthcare workers a year are exposed to hazardous drugs. These exposures can cause hair loss, infertility, and even genetic damage. One study found that occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents increased the rate of miscarriages and stillbirths.
These are the more drastic consequences — and this doesn’t even account for simple injuries like needle-sticks. Costs associated with needle-stick injuries amount to $199 to $1,691 per incident, with an average annual burden of $118 to $591 million. If your employees get hurt, the cost to your facility could be significant — both in lost time and lawsuits. It's becoming more and more common for healthcare workers to file claims when they aren't protected on the job.
Recently, a union filed a lawsuit against the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration on behalf of hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers. They did so because they claimed that the organization did not issue an infectious-disease protocol during the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their health at risk. Your organization can reduce your risk by implementing CSTDs to avoid a similar lawsuit.
Obviously, losing a seasoned staff member because they need to take some sick time puts a huge burden on your other workers, too. You'll have to spend additional time and expense training new staff to fill the missing employee's workload. CSTDs are an excellent way to protect staff. These closed systems ensure hazardous drugs can't come into contact with those handling them. Instead, drugs are prepared, handled and administered within the closed CSTD, so they go directly from the packaging into the patient without leakage or escape of drug vapors.
Additionally, you won't have to worry about needle-sticks, as the closed drug administration system eliminates any possible contact with the needle. A 2003 study examined the urine of healthcare workers who distributed antineoplastic agents. Before implementing CSTDs, many of them had these hazardous chemicals in their urine. After CSTD implementation, the number of workers who tested positive decreased. Consistent use of CSTDs can greatly reduce the chance of your staff suffering long-term harm from occupational handling of hazardous drugs.