October 09, 2007 | | Comments 0
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Things that go BMP in the night

I’m seeing an interesting phenomenon relating to the life safety surveys, the building maintenance program (BMP) as outlined in the SOC, and how the two (sort of) co-exist during surveys.

I know a lot of folks are really working towards a point where they can take advantage, so to speak, of the BMP. That said, I’m not so sure that the BMP is something to be taken advantage of, at least in the classic sense-though an advantage can clearly be gained by adopting this most practical of strategies for managing certain specific elements of your life safety equipment and building features.

The issue with the BMP is that, in and of itself, there is not a great deal of guidance in how one is to set it up. Ideally, the goal of the program is to ensure that it is 95% compliant at any given point in time with the listed items that you’ve chosen to include.

Ultimately, the frequencies with which you’d be checking will be dictated by the performance data you collect during your inspection activities. That can mean there are certain elements that will need to be inspected at greater frequencies than others.

As an example, a client of mine utilizes rolling fire doors to isolate the elevator lobbies. However, given their proximity to the elevators and the very nature of a lot of the traffic using the area (food carts, linen carts, storeroom carts, etc.), these doors receive a more than equitable share of abuse.

Consequently, these doors experience a much greater rate of failure to close and latch than other rated doors in the organization. To manage such a condition using a BMP, it is likely that a greater inspection frequency would need to be employed than, say, fire doors leading into stairways.

As another example, there might be fire doors adjacent to areas like the kitchen, the storeroom, or environmental services that get banged around more and would probably need to be inspected more frequently.

In conversation with George Mills, The Joint Commission’s senior engineer, he described it thusly: You may have X number of fire doors in your facility and 90% of those doors may work correctly every time, but that other 10% of your door inventory is where you need to be more attentive.

You might need to inspect the 10% on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily frequency depending on what the data tells you. And you might be able to do the remaining 90% on a semiannual or even annual basis (I don’t think you could ever get to a point where a frequency of less than a year would be diligent).

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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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