September 26, 2007 | | Comments 0
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What’s lurking with the storage revisions in the EC proposal?

One other item that I found interesting in the proposed revisions to the EC standards was in the revised design and maintenance of the environment (currently EC.8.10, EP #1, soon to be EC.7.01).

The revision states that the “organization provides sufficient storage space to meet patient needs.”

Now you might say, “So what, that’s already in there!” and you wouldn’t be incorrect. But the current EP under EC.8.10 speaks to specific design elements relating to space for patient personal property, while a requirement for “sufficient storage space to meet patient needs” can be extrapolated into the rest of the environment, maybe to include corridor clutter and stuff like that.

Now it may be that the pending Life Safety Code compliance chapter will preclude the use of this EP as a “general duty clause” relating to storage issues in healthcare. I’m guessing that the building maintenance program will take a larger profile in the new LS chapter-and I know there has been some discussion relative to expanding the BMP to include maintaining corridor widths-so perhaps that’s how this will end up as a compliance issue.

That said, I can’t help but think that as I travel around the country, I have yet to see new construction in healthcare that really provides an appropriate “answer” for the storage of patient-support equipment. It’s been a past practice to invoke the facilities master plan concept as a response to regulatory scrutiny of less-than-ideal storage accommodations. This revision for EC.7.01 may represent a ratcheting up of what will be tolerated.

I guess we’ll have to keep an eye on this one.

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Filed Under: Life Safety Code

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 stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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