August 21, 2007 | | Comments 0
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Watch for the subtleties of the EC standards

Another trend I’ve noticed is a failure mode relative to the familiarity of frontline staff with the expectations and requirements outlined in the standards and EPs.

I recently worked with a client that ran afoul of the new requirements under EC.7.40 for a four-hour generator test. The client had, in fact, operated the generator in question for a period well in excess of four hours, but had failed to provide acceptable documentation to the surveyors. This left the facility in the position of conducting the four-hour test again, which they did.

Ahh, but here’s where things got a little bit off track. In reviewing the documentation, I noted that for the first hour of the test, the generator did not meet 30% of its nameplate rating. When asked, the individual responsible for the testing responded, “we averaged 30% for the four hours, but it took us a bit to get up to where we needed to be.”

The element of performance in question, however, requires a test at 30% for four continuous hours, a subtle difference to be sure. But it was a difference that required them to conduct yet another generator test.

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Steve MacArthur About the Author: Steve MacArthur is a safety consultant with The Greeley Company in Danvers, Mass. He brings more than 30 years of healthcare management and consulting experience to his work with hospitals, physician offices, and ambulatory care facilities across the country. He is the author of HCPro's Hospital Safety Director's Handbook and is contributing editor for Briefings on Hospital Safety. Contact Steve at

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