Medical Surveillance for Hazardous Drugs

Richard D. Newcomb, Rosemary Frasso, Phoebe Cruz, Laura E. Breeher, Robin G. Molella, Judith Green-Mckenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that institutions establish a medical surveillance program for workers who handle hazardous drugs. Our aim was to investigate current practices with occupational medicine practice (OMP) national leaders. Methods: A series of qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with 11 OMP national leaders from medical centers in 10 states. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and coded using a directed content analysis. Codes were organized into themes. Results: All respondents were board-certified physicians in medical center OMP. Interviews up to 45 minutes found three themes: policy interpretation, benefits and barriers to surveillance, and potential respondent-generated solutions. Three of 10 medical centers provided medical surveillance. Conclusions: Medical surveillance for hazardous drugs is infrequent, and consensus is lacking regarding standard practices. Further work is needed to minimize risk to health care workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-527
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • hazardous drugs
  • institutional practices
  • medical surveillance
  • occupational health surveillance
  • qualitative
  • telephone survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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