Coming up with a discreet way to identify patients who have bloodborne pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis B — infectious diseases that pose risks to staff members — simultaneously maintains patient dignity and preserves staff safety. “When we’re dealing with a known condition, we alert our staff so they can double-glove or take additional precautions,” says Ashlea Wyant, quality assessment performance improvement nurse at Eye 35 ASC in Schertz, Texas. “We simply use the term ‘star’ when discussing the case. Patients aren’t aware of what it means, so they don’t feel stigmatized by hearing it.”
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