Dear CEO Letter - Pharmaceutical Disposal and Sharps Disposal Surveys for hospitals and D&TC, July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

Dear Chief Executive Officer:

This letter is written to inform you of two upcoming data collection efforts that will ask hospitals to enter data through the Health Emergency Response Data System (HERDS). These data requests will be undertaken to understand current practices in pharmaceutical wasting and to update current listings regarding hospital and nursing home sites that accept and dispose of sharps from the community

Pharmaceutical Disposal Survey – Applicable to Hospitals and Diagnostic and Treatment Centers

Beginning on July 22, 2011, hospitals will be asked to log in to HERDS and input data on the disposal of pharmaceuticals. Concurrently, information will also be collected from diagnostic and treatment centers (D&TCs). This survey is intended for data collection purposes only; no regulatory actions will be taken based on findings obtained through this survey process. The data collected by this survey will serve to target educational materials and approaches to encourage proper disposal of pharmaceuticals. For your convenience, a copy of the survey has been attached to this letter so that hospitals may prepare answers to the survey questions prior to logging in to input the data in to the HERDS survey format. Data will be collected for approximately 6 weeks.

Community Sharps Disposal Survey – Applicable to Hospitals

In accordance with Public Health Law 1389-dd (4), hospitals and nursing homes are mandated to accept home-generated sharps as a free community service through their sharps collection programs. Beginning on July 22, 2011, hospitals will be asked to log in to HERDS and input information regarding the current availability of sharps collection programs. The survey will collect information regarding program locations, hours of operation; how information about the program is disseminated to the public; and the method of sharps collection. The survey will also address sharps collection mechanisms for community-based organizations. Once the information is collected, the Department will update the information regarding community sharps available on its website. In the future, the Department intends to develop an automated system that will allow all collection sites to update their information on an ongoing basis. This method of data collection will help the Department to ensure that information provided on the Department's website is continually updated and accurate.

The following are resources, provided for your reference, regarding the safe disposal of used sharps:

Should you have questions about either of these surveys, please contact the Division of Certification and Surveillance at 518-402-1003.


Mary Ellen Hennessy
Division of Certification and Surveillance