RSSAll Entries in the "Patient Safety" Category

Public comments open for NFPA active-shooter standards

Preparing to respond to an active-shooter event, whether that involves a surge of patients to your facility because of an incident off-campus or a hostile intruder inside your building, has become a major concern to most hospital officials.

For only the second time in its history, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is fast-tracking development of a standard to help first responders, healthcare providers, facility managers and others to prepare for an active shooter incident, and they are looking for public input.

NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, could be ready as early as April, so public comments must be submitted by Feb. 23.

A draft copy is available online but you may be required to register with the NFPA first. To comment on draft of NFPA 3000 go to www.nfpa.org/3000 . And to read the NFPA 3000 fact sheet  go to https://tinyurl.com/NFPA-blog-active-shooter.

Tell us what you think about PSMJ and BOAQ

Dear BOAQ & PSMJ Subscribers,

We’re making much needed overhauls to BOAQ and PSMJ’s website this year. But before that happens, we want to hear your thoughts on how we can improve in 2018. Please share your feedback by taking this quick survey:

BOAQ Survey: https://goo.gl/kCPSER

PSMJ Survey:  https://goo.gl/kCPSER

Your responses are invaluable to us and if you have ideas or suggestions for us, send them our way!

Brian Ward, Associate Editor

Surgeon sued for double booking surgery

There’s a reason why the American College of Surgeons (ACS) recommends asking patients if they’re okay with a concurrent surgery before operating. A Manhattan doctor found that out the hard way, after two former patients sued him last month for $14 million, according to the Boston Globe.

The patients claim that David B. Samadi, MD, chief of urology at Lenox Hill Hospital, allowed doctors-in-training to perform their prostate surgeries, and was only present for 25 minutes for one of the surgeries. Further, they claimed they were put kept under general anesthesia longer than necessary to hide Samadi’s absence, and that the operations were botched.

Last year, a review of more than 2,000 neurosurgical cases published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no greater risk of postoperative complications for patients operated on by surgeons conducting overlapping surgeries. That said, the ACS guidelines are clear that patients need to know about and consent to an concurrent surgery before a provider does one.

Bradley T. Truax, MD, principal consultant of the Truax Group, says that patients should absolutely be informed if you plan to do their surgery concurrently.

“It is one thing for the surgeon to discuss with the patient that other personnel (residents, fellows, surgical assistants, etc.) will be participating in their surgery,” he says. “But the surgeon needs to make it clear what their roles will be and that the attending surgeon him/herself may not be present for the entire procedure.”

Joint Commission to roll out new maternal care and infectious disease requirements

On July 1, 2018, The Joint Commission will implement three new elements of performance (EP.) The EPs are intended to reduce the risk of diseases like HIV and syphilis being passed from mother to child during birth. The accreditor made the announcement in the latest R3 Report, with the aim of protecting both the mother and child from harm.

“The requirements will help improve maternal and neonatal health in Joint Commission accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals across the country,” Kathy Clark, MSN, RN, Joint Commission associate project director specialist, Division of Health Care Quality Evaluation, said in a press release. “If left undiagnosed or untreated, infectious diseases can be extremely dangerous and even life-threatening, so it is critical that testing and treatment for both the woman and baby is completed according to clinical practice guidelines.”

The EPs require providers to test pregnant women for certain diseases that could be transmitted to the child during birth: HIV, hepatitis B, group B streptococcus and syphilis. The results are then documented in the patient’s medical record for providers to act upon.

Prepping hospitals for winter storms

With the biting cold and heavy snow that struck the East Coast this month, and with more on the way healthcare organizations should take a look at their preparation plans for blizzards and snowstorms.  The following tips come from Allina Health in Minneapolis, MedStar Montgomery in Olney, Md., and University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore.

1.    Plan for the long haul. Plan out sleeping accommodations for staff who will be working on-site during the storm. Also ask all scheduled staff to arrive ahead of the storm.
2.    Expect travel and road conditions to be treacherous well after the storm. Different travel routes often receive different priority when it comes to plowing and clearing, and there can be a large difference in travel conditions even just a few blocks down the road.
3.    Remember that staff are people, too. Make sure staff is taken care of as well. Movies, popcorn, and other entertainment can go a long way toward allowing your staff some rest and relaxation.
4.    Review your business continuity plan. If the storm damages your facility and requires repairs or relocation of services, make sure you have a business continuity plan to keep revenue moving.
5.    Emphasize smooth communication. Outside lines of communication are often disrupted during a storm or emergency. Healthcare organizations’ internal communication should be on point in order to pick up that slack.
6.    Review and practice your disaster management protocols. The regular review and execution of the disaster drills required of your hospital by The Joint Commission is important to stay prepared for when a disaster finally does happen—and it will.

For more articles like this, check out our sister publication Inside the Joint Commission. https://www.codingbooks.com/inside-the-joint-commission 
 

CMS memo defines ligature risk and clarifies expectations

A new CMS memo creates a definition of a ligature risk, a time frame for correcting them, and interim guidance for surveyors, plus requirements for requesting a time extension for a plan of correction taking longer than 60 days. CMS says that while not all ligature risks can be eliminated, hospitals are expected to show how they identify patients at risk and the steps they are taking to minimize those risks.

According to the S&C Letter 18-06, a ligature risk (or point) is “anything which could be used to attach a cord, rope, or other material for the purpose of hanging or strangulation.” That includes handles, coat hooks, pipes, shower rails, radiators, bedsteads, window and door frames, ceiling fittings, hinges, and closures.

CMS is still collaborating with healthcare organizations and patient safety groups on more comprehensive guidance on ligature risks. The agency says it expects to have the update done in six months. Until then, accrediting organizations (AO) are allowed to use their own judgment on ligature risks. That includes the definition of a ligature risk, plans for correction, how deficiencies are ranked, and how long a facility has to correct the problem. Facilities should double-check with their AO’s ligature risk and self-harm requirements.

2018 version of “Patient Safety Systems” Chapter available

The Joint Commission has released the most recent versions of it’s PS Chapter for hospitals, nursing care centers, critical access hospitals, behavioral healthcare centers, laboratories, and more.

Study: Concurrent surgeries are safe

A review of more than 2,000 neurosurgical cases published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found no greater risk of postoperative complications for patients operated on by surgeons conducting overlapping surgeries. This casts a new light on the controversial practice, which is routine at many facilities nationwide.

The study, published earlier this month, examined patients who underwent neurosurgical procedures at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta from 2014 to 2015. Of the 2,275 cases reviewed, about 43% had the surgeon remain with the patient through the entire procedure. In the other 57% of cases, the primary surgeon performed two procedures in different operating rooms.

In the 90 days following their operations, no difference was found in morbidity, mortality, or worsened outcome measures between the two groups of patients. The researchers concluded that this data suggests overlapping neurosurgeries are safe and may benefit patients by allowing sought-after specialists to see more patients.

That said, researchers did note that overlapping surgeries were notably longer than when one surgery was done at a time. And guidelines from the American College of Surgeons require that patients be informed that they’ll be undergoing a concurrent surgery.

“Surgeons must use their experience, keen intuition and respect for their own ability and limitations to carefully select patients” for overlapping surgery, the authors wrote.

Door alarms limit OR foot traffic and infection risks

A new study published in Orthopedics has found the best way to cut the number of unnecessary foot traffic in the operating room (OR) is by installing a door alarm. About a third of door openings during surgery are for unessential reasons, like future planning and social visits.

The opening and closing of doors during surgery increases the risk of infection to the patient, particularly in rooms where air pressure is controlled to prevent the airborne bacteria from infecting immune-compromised patients. One study has found that any increase in the number of door openings during surgery increases the risk of infection by 70%.

During the study, opening the OR door would trigger a double chime that would repeat every three seconds until the door was shut again. Using this method, they were able to reduce the average “open door” time from 14 minutes to 10. Other methods aren’t nearly as effective, according to the study’s authors. Rules restricting OR access are often ignored, and locking the door can impede patient care.

That said, the researchers noted that once alarm fatigue sets in, the door alarms would lose their effectiveness.

“Despite the limited long-term effect of this alarm, it should bring further attention to excessive operating room traffic,” they write. “Continuing education and awareness may be necessary to maintain the results found in this study.”

Webinar: Suicide Prevention in Hospitals: Reduce Risk and Comply With Joint Commission Requirements

Presented on: Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST
Speaker: Ernest E. Allen, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, CHFM
Program Level: Intermediate 
Registration: http://hcmarketplace.com/suicide-prevention-in-hospitals

Summary:  Hospitals are continually working to reduce the risk of patient suicide in their facilities, but the problem persists. The Joint Commission has placed particular emphasis on reducing suicide risk, including a National Patient Safety Goal and a recent Sentinel Event Alert.

In this webinar, former Joint Commission surveyor Ernest E. Allen, ARM, CSP, CPHRM, CHFM, will explain how hospitals can identify and reduce suicide risks and improve compliance with Joint Commission requirements.

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify suicide risks in hospitals
  • Be able to reference applicable Joint Commission standards and Sentinel Event Alerts
  •  Learn prevention methods to help lower suicide risk