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Medical Surveillance Policy & Procedure

POLICY: Columbia University Health Sciences (CUHSD), in its commitment to the health and safety of its personnel, has established a medical surveillance program to address work place hazards including exposure to biological, chemical and physical agents. The medical surveillance program includes healthcare workers who are at risk of acquiring and/or transmitting communicable diseases to patients, visitors and colleagues because of their exposure in the workplace. The program provides for an assessment of health risks associated with certain positions and a determination of appropriate medical testing and recommended vaccines. Medical surveillance will be required of certain positions, and additionally in certain cases, mandatory testing, immunization or other preventive procedures. Medical surveillance will be performed in the CPMC Occupational Health Service (OHS) at the time of hire or transfer into a position with such hazards and periodically as required. There is no cost to the employee for this service.

APPLICABILITY: This policy is applicable to faculty and staff who routinely work with hazardous biological, chemical and physical agents including employees who work with patients, laboratory animals, bloodborne pathogens, other infectious agents, formaldehyde, xylene, class 3b or 4a lasers, and/or those whose work requires the use of a respirator. Positions that require participation in the medical surveillance program will be identified in job descriptions and postings.

PURPOSE: Medical surveillance is intended to reduce the risk of exposure to workplace hazards.


  1. Medical surveillance. Personnel hired in identified positions will be scheduled for medical surveillance in OHS. The valuation may consist of a medical and occupational history, a physical examination and any necessary blood testing and/or immunizations. For those with potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens, the HBV vaccine will be offered to non-immune. Personnel working with human subjects will be required to demonstrate serologic immunity to rubella, measles and varicella or undergo immunization. Baseline tuberculosis skin testing and screening for active tuberculosis will be performed.
  2. Clearance. Upon clearance by OHS, a form will be given to the employee to give to their supervisor for their personnel files.
  3. Periodic surveillance. When indicated for a job title, periodic follow-up may be necessary. The employee’s supervisor will notify employees when a periodic evaluation is indicated.
  4. Hours and location of OHS. The CPMC OHS is open from 8:30 am to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday, except hospital holidays. It is located on Harkness Pavilion 1 South. Clinic card and CPMC photo ID badge. Personnel must bring their clinic card and CPMC photo identification badge with them to OHS. Clinic cards can be obtained in Central Registration located on Vanderbilt Clinic (VC) First Floor, Room 121.

RESPONSIBILITY: Human Resources, Environmental Health & Safety, Faculty Affairs and Supervisors.

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