“Methodist Mondays” – Morgan’s reflections on being a patient safety advocate

March 2, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Morgan Gasper is a nursing student at Nebraska Methodist College

Morgan Gasper is a junior level nursing student at Nebraska Methodist College

“Methodist Mondays” is the name of a once a month blog written by students of Nebraska Methodist College of Omaha. Students will share their reflections on patient safety, and their role as an advocate for their patients. It is part of a larger (and very exciting) partnership with the local college! Here’s a link to a recent story about the partnership.

As part of our “Methodist Mondays” series, Morgan Gasper shares her reflections after reading “A Never Event” as a class assignment. Morgan was instrumental in bringing a co-author of the book, Evelyn McKnight, to campus to share her story with students. Following are Morgan’s reflections on that visit.

Dr. McKnight’s story was truly inspiring and reminding of the fact that our job as healthcare providers is to care for patients. It is our job to provide the most culturally competent care with pure intentions for the best outcome for our patients. Our jobs are not about ourselves, but about every life we come in to contact with. read more »

Building community for safe injections!

February 23, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini



HONOReform is a proud member of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition. Led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the SIPC developed and distributes the award-winning One and Only Campaign materials (“One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time”). The One & Only Campaign is a public health campaign to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices. There are many, many resources designed for healthcare providers –  posters, videos, brochures, checklists, continuing education opportunities and guidance for infection prevention specific to injection safety. There are resources tailored for specific situations such as dentistry and diabetes care.

 While we applaud the efforts of our colleagues and stand beside them, we also must note that materials designed for patients seem, at this stage, inadequate. Currently, this is the core document developed by SIPC to be used specifically for outreach to patients: Patient Brochure. read more »

Making Lemonade: One CRNA’s Story of Addiction and Recovery

February 16, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Anita Bertrand, CRNA, was the featured speaker at this year's AANA annual meeting

Anita Bertrand, CRNA, was the featured speaker at this year’s AANA annual meeting

In healthcare, it’s all about saving lives, right? But what happens when it’s about saving the lives of those who are usually the ones caring for the patients? In the case of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, it is truly about saving lives as well as caring for their peers. Thanks to their health and wellness series, they are bringing awareness through education as well as teaching their members to look past themselves while gaining a better care for all. Thanks to their peer assistance program, it is much easier for nurse anesthetists to help one another. read more »

2014 was a very good year for HONOReform!

February 9, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

HONOReform is the only national advocay organization dedicated to protecting patients through safeguarding the medical injection process.

HONOReform is the only national advocay organization dedicated to protecting patients through safeguarding the medical injection process.

Once a year, we take some time from our daily work to reflect on what we accomplished throughout the year and set s ome goals for the upcoming year. We are so grateful to you, our fellow advocates, for your steadfast support of injection safety. Below is HONOReform’s End of Year Report, 2014.

Our Mission and Vision

HONOReform is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting patients through safeguarding the medical injection process “from manufacturing to disposal.” Our vision is a nation in which health care providers always follow fundamental injection safety practices that are designed to protect all patients each nd every time they receive an injection.

HONOReform International Debut

HONOReform representatives, including Evelyn and Tom McKnight, traveled to India in September. Our aim was to visit cities and villages and observe healthcare delivery. We visited hospitals and clinics, and we had the opportunity to meet with local patient advocates. Along with our industry partners, we presented to public health leaders, national government officials and a representative of the World Health Organization. Our goal going forward is to help form an injection safety coalition in India.

Presentations and Media

Led by co-founder and president Evelyn McKnight, who continues to present her story on the ongoing need to always use safe injection practices, HONOReform presented at 30 events attended by nearly 3500 people. HONOReform was featured in national media over 25 times in 2014, and we helped lead the much-quoted April 17 USA Today article titled “Doctors, medical staff put patients at risk.”

Updated HONOReform website

Evelyn and HONOReform are active on social media, particularly twitter (#HONOReform). On our streamlined website, click on “JOIN THE CONVERSATION” to receive up-to-the-minute information from HONOReform (on Twitter and Facebook). Also, be sure to check out and subscribe to the HONOReform blog, “Survivor Stories,” edited by Evelyn and Lauren Lollini. To submit an idea for our blog or an article, contact Steve Langan at 402.659.6343 or steve@HONOReform.org.


Sadly, some healthcare providers in the United States continue to reuse and misuse medical equipment, including syringes. Additional focus areas this year included reuse and misuse of single- and multi-dose vials of medication and responding to increasing reports of drug diversion among healthcare workers. Through the HONOResponse program, active in five states in 2014, HONOReform is poised to help patients and communities immediately following a patient notification or confirmed outbreak.

The SIPC and the Campaign

HONOReform is a proud member of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), which provides support for the One and Only Campaign (OneandOnlyCampaign.org). The SIPC continues to develop and distribute new materials, and we continue to raise awareness among healthcare providers and patients about the absolute need for safe injection practices. In 2014, HONOReform discussed with SIPC colleagues a need to emphasize and extend the patient voice. As always, please contact HONOReform and allow us to help you access the materials that will be most useful to you and your institution—if you are a healthcare worker—or your family—if you are a patient.

Support for State Legislation

HONOReform is particularly proud of our many partners in New Hampshire, who pushed for the landmark “Medical Technician Registry” and “Drug Free Workplace” bills, which were signed in to law in June. HONOReform was also active in working toward legislation in North Dakota—where an injection safety proclamation was established. HONOReform is dedicated to advocating for injection safety legislation at the state level.

Our Academic Partners

HONOReform appreciated the many opportunities this year to meet, in person and online, with students from local and area universities and colleges, as they studied the consequences of unsafe injections. We welcome the opportunity to share the HONOReform story and highlight the need to always emphasize injection safety. Our academic partners include University of Nebraska-Omaha, Midland University, Methodist Nursing College, the College of St Mary, St. Louis University and Southeast Community College—among others.

HONOReform Year End Appeal

We are grateful to our many donors for the ongoing support of our mission. Contributions to our annual appeal for donations, response to a request from founder Evelyn McKnight, were especially helpful. Contributions to HONOReform come in a variety of forms. Thank you for helping us to continue to safeguard the medical injection process in the United States.

Our Goals for 2015

We have designated 2015 the HONOReform “Year of Community.” We encourage HONOReform patient advocates and family advocates, our many partner organizations, and the extended national injection safety network to join us. We encourage you to join HONOReform social media and help us extend the conversation and our reach!

Methodist Mondays: A Debut, from Nursing Student Matthew Sobczyk

February 2, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Matthew Sobczyk is a nursing student at Nebraska Methodist College and  posts the first 'Methodists Mondays' blog.

Matthew Sobczyk is a nursing student at Nebraska Methodist College and posts the first ‘Methodist Mondays’ blog.

At Nebraska Methodist College, the book A Never Event (McKnight & Bennington, 2010) is required reading at the junior level of the BSN nursing program. This past semester, Evelyn McKnight and Steve Langan visited the nursing classroom with a question and answer session regarding A Never Event and HONOReform. “Survivor Stories” will feature students’ reflections on the importance of Evelyn sharing her story and the work of HONOReform on their future nursing practice in a series called ‘Methodist Mondays’.

“Education and awareness are the cornerstone of the HONOReform mission. Lauren and I are grateful to Matthew Sobczyk, a nursing student, for providing this debut Methodist Monday blog,” Evelyn says.

During Dr. McKnight’s visit, I was very impressed with the amount of passion that she had for preventing reuse of needles, and enabling safe injection practices to prevent any further outbreaks from occurring. As a student nurse, I feel that enacting safe infection practices is one of the most crucial to prevent transmission of blood borne pathogens from patient to patient. Since needles are used every day for a multitude of reasons, it is important that no needle is used more than once to prevent any possible pathogens from passing between patients. It is one of the simplest acts that we as healthcare providers can use for safe practice. Hearing Dr. McKnight tell her story made me more passionate than ever to commit to this practice.

To be a patient advocate means to not only stand up for the patient and what their wishes are about the care that they will be receiving, it also means intervening when you see unwanted harm coming to your patient or any other patient from a fellow provider. I feel that being a patient safety advocate is one of the most important qualities of a health care professional, and if you can’t stand up for your patient and be there for them then you don’t deserve to be in the profession. You have to be there for your patient in order to provide the best possible care.

Without a doubt, I can’t thank Dr. McKnight enough for coming to speak to our class and sharing her story and her experience. When I had read her book, I was beyond shocked that such a horrific experience had taken place here in Nebraska, let alone in a town not far from Omaha. I also want to thank Steve Langan for coming along and talking about the activities that HONOReform has been a part of. It truly means a lot to have taken the time to come share their personal account with us. I won’t ever forget this experience.

A heartfelt thank you to some very hard working epidemiologists

January 26, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

A huge thank you to the wonderful epidemiologists at both the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Division of Disease Control and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Viral Hepatitis Division for their major article published this month in the American Journal of Infection Control. Their article, “Outbreak of hepatitis C virus infection associated with narcotics diversion by an hepatitis C virus-infected surgical technician,” outlines the happenings surrounding the Hepatitis C outbreak in Colorado in 2009. Their in-depth study of this situation brilliantly highlights the need for better health surveillance in identifying such outbreaks and the diversion which causes them.
read more »

Glucometer Safety: part two

January 19, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

In part two, our colleague, the “nurse from St. Louis,” shares “factors” that contribute to the problem of improper or lacking disinfection of glucometers–and “recommended actions” and a “conclusion.” HONOReform calls on our many partners and colleagues to make glucometer safety a priority in your institutions; and we remind patients to always ask questions…such as, Was this glucometer just disinfected?

Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use

Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use

Factors Contributing to the Problem of Improper Cleaning of Meters

After researching this issue, it is apparent that glucometers and other blood testing meters were approved by the FDA for individual home use. Cleaning these meters with alcohol would have been appropriate when used for one individual only at home. However, when these meters are used on multiple people, then disinfecting with agents that kill blood borne pathogens, after each use, is the only safe and appropriate option. See this article for more information. It appears that the manufacturers and sales representatives marketed these devices that were approved by the FDA as being safe and effective for individual home use as being appropriate to use at health fairs and mass health screenings as well.

Recommended Actions

Because some of the manufacturers and sales representatives contributed to this problem, we are asking them to help rectify these unsafe practices, i.e., of improper use and cleaning/disinfecting of point-of-care blood testing meters, as soon as possible. We believe that these companies should immediately update their websites and printed material and contact all current, past and potential customers via email, regular mail, phone calls and in-person visits. Very specifically they need to inform everyone that any type of point-of-care blood testing equipment needs to be cleaned and disinfected after each use if used for multiple people. Of course, the health care worker must follow all other standard infection control procedures. Furthermore, should the sales representatives find any used penlets (a lancet device that can be used on multiple patients but should not be) in a healthcare setting they should confiscate those devices.


Obviously, we all must remain vigilant regarding proper infection control measures, especially those related to blood borne pathogens. It is imperative that we communicate concerns in order to educate and motivate everyone to put patient safety first. The lives and health of our patients depend on us to practice safely.


Glucometer Safety: part one

January 12, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use

Its important to follow CDC guidelines regarding glucometer use

We are grateful to the “nurse from St. Louis” for sharing part one of a two-part blog for stressing the absolute importance of always cleaning the glucometer between patients. This week, from her point of view, she introduces the “scope of the problem” and shares some of the important “facts.”

Introduction/ Scope of the Problem

Recently there have been several documented breaches in infection control procedures, resulting in potential exposure to blood borne pathogens in a variety of health care settings throughout the United States. We have already discussed the OSHA reprimand and fine levied upon SSM Health Care in St. Louis, Missouri for not properly disinfecting point-of-care blood testing meters after each patient. In addition, the July 2014 issue of the American Journal of Nursing has an article titled “Infection Prevention Practices in Ambulatory Surgery Centers” which included reports of “blood glucometers not being cleaned between patients” at health care centers in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Complete Health Care for Women in Ohio was reprimanded by OSHA for violations related to not protecting staff and patients from blood borne pathogens. If these types of breaches occur at large, well-regarded, quality award winning healthcare systems, then they can happen anywhere. read more »

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Welcome back to the HONOReform blog, aka “Survivor Stories,” for our second full year of publication. We thank everyone who has had a role in making our blog a growing success—contributors and readers and everyone who has suggested to friends that they should check out our blog and pass it on to others.
And we encourage you to please continue to support our efforts.
Here at HONOReform, community-building is a key to emphasizing safe injection practices and doing all we can to educate the public and reeducate providers on the absolute necessity of injection safety.
read more »

“We’re looking for justice” – Emil’s Story

December 15, 2014

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Emil Mueller's family seeks justice for him and all the victims of the Nebraska Outbreak

Emil Mueller’s family seeks justice for him and all the victims of the Nebraska Outbreak

We are so grateful to Desarae Mueller-Fichepain, whose father’s story was featured last week in the article written by reporter Matthew Hansen. And we are grateful to Mr. Hansen, who we got to know when he joined us to take a tour of one of the four factories operated here in the state by our corporate colleagues BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.).
These exchanges, advocate to reporter and reporter to readers, are essential ones. Continued education and reeducation on proper injection safety is vital. What happened to Desarae’s dad, Mr. Emil Mueller, should not happen to anyone here in the United States—or, we think, anywhere in the world.

It is our honor to share the article, published in the Thursday, December 11, Omaha World-Herald. We thank Desarae, and all of the HONOReform advocates, for their openness, leadership and support.

Hansen: In massive hepatitis C outbreak in Fremont, the victims’ voices went unheard
Emil had fought off prostate cancer for a decade, battled it in the same steely way that he made it through each shift at Fremont’s Hormel plant. He clocked in at the plant each morning. He picked up his knife. He cleaved the fat off of giant, immovable slabs of ham.

Day after day. Year after year. No excuses. No complaining. That’s how Emil worked. That’s how he lived.

And then, in 2000 or 2001, Emil began to see the new oncologist in town, a doctor by the name of Tahir Ali Javed. He’s a nice guy, he told his daughter, Desarae.

But within months, Emil began to change. The color started to fade from his cheeks. His grit faded, too.
read more »