Medical Surveillance Policy & Procedure


Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC), in its commitment to the health and safety of its personnel and visitors, 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 may be required. Medical surveillance will be performed in the Workforce Health & Safety (WHS) at the time of hire or transfer into a position with such hazards and periodically as required. Medical Surveillance clearance is a requirement for all those working in NYP space and fall under the Joint Commission requirement prior to their start date. There is no cost to the employee for this service.


This policy is applicable to faculty, staff and visitors who routinely work with certain 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.


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


Medical Surveillance

Personnel and visitors hired in identified positions will be scheduled for medical surveillance by their department. The evaluation 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 and visitors 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. Drug testing will be performed by WHS only on personnel who have patient contact and/or human subjects in a hospital setting outside those subject to a pre-employment screening (1199/SSA union members, Casuals and those who have a hospital appointment/affiliation). Visitors will also be subject to a pre-employment screening if they meet the Joint Commission requirements.

  1. Registration:

    Supervisors must register personnel and visitors on the online registration form located under the Employment section on the CUMC Human Resources webpage.

  2. Clearance:

    Upon clearance by WHS, an email will be sent from WHS to the supervisor and CUMC Human Resources Department with the exception of the respiratory clearance form which will be administered directly to the employee to deliver to their supervisor. Supervisor must contact Environmental Health & Safety to schedule the fit testing.

  3. Periodic Surveillance:

    When indicated for a job title, periodic follow-up may be necessary. The employee's supervisor will notify employee when a periodic evaluation is indicated.

  4. Hours and Location of WHS:

    WHS is open from 8:00 am to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday, except hospital holidays. It is located in the Harkness Pavilion 1 South.

  5. CUMC Photo ID Badge:

    Personnel must bring their CUMC photo ID badge with them to WHS.

  6. Responsibility:

    CUMC Human Resources 212-305-3819, Option #1, Environmental Health & Safety 212-305-6780 CUMC and 212-854-8749 Morningside, Faculty Affairs and Supervisors- 212-305-5390.