Hospital Respiratory Protection: Resources and Projects

Additional information related to respiratory protection.

Project

Protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations, but often doesn’t get the attention it deserves.  To raise awareness and assist hospitals in the development and implementation of respiratory protection programs, The Joint Commission, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), has developed and promoted educational resources related to respiratory protection.

However, there remains many unanswered questions related to specific clinical situations, which can hinder optimal use of respiratory protection.  To better understand these issues, The Joint Commission’s Department of Research engaged in a respiratory protection project entitled  Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs:  Usefulness of Resources and Informational Gaps.  This was a twelve-month project, supported through a contract with CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL, with the goals to (1) assess the perceived usefulness of existing resources related to respiratory protection, and (2) to identify situations whereby clarification with clinical application of respiratory protection might be needed. 

The project team gathered examples of challenging clinical situations related to use of respiratory protection. The results of this project can be found here:

Braun BI, Tschurtz BA, Hafiz H, Novak DA, Montero MC, Alexander CM, et al. Opportunities to bridge gaps between respiratory protection guidance and practice in US health care. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. Cambridge University Press; 2019;40(4):476–81

Please contact Barbara Braun at for more information.

Resources Related to Respiratory Protection Programs 

Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs:  Strategies from the Field
Protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations.  In order to address this often overlooked danger, The Joint Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) have collaborated to develop a new educational monograph designed to assist hospitals in implementing their respiratory protection programs (RPPs).

The monograph, features examples, strategies, new resources, and a variety of implementation approaches which were solicited from the field and vetted through an eight-member Technical Expert Panel (TEP).  The monograph is part of a cluster of research activities spearheaded by NIOSH/NPPTL around respiratory protection programs and is intended to be a companion document to other CDC/NIOSH/NPPTL respiratory protection publications and resources.