April 16, 2008 | | Comments 1
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Joint Commission queries about lockdowns

I caught wind of some recent Joint Commission survey notes, including what came up during an emergency management tracer.
In discussing the organization’s preparations for the six critical areas, the surveyor asked if the organization had ever conducted a lockdown drill. Then, upon an affirmative response from the hospital, the surveyor asked about the results of the most recent lockdown drill.
(By the way, in this era of ever-increasing demands for escalating drill scenarios, lockdowns are a nifty way to change the dynamic of even the most basic exercises. And if you’re feeling really lucky, try including the lockdown with minimal warning to staff at large–and don’t forget to take pictures!)
Then the surveyor asked a kind of interesting question in follow-up: Where does the organization get the manpower to implement lockdown procedures?
I’m not quite sure what prompted the question specifically, but sometimes the ways of the surveyor are many and varied. This issue actually dribbles over a bit into EC.4.16, which requires you to manage staff roles and responsibilities during responsibilities.
Now, for some organizations, staffing a lockdown might be the most simple of tasks, but I’d wager that, depending on the type of event, you might not want to “waste” your designated security resources to implement the lockdown.
In which case, you need a reliable and well-stocked resource pantry, a.k.a. the manpower pool. And also ideally a plan. A poorly handled lockdown, even during a drill, can be a customer service nightmare. “What do you mean I can’t come in to see my sick mother?”
Something to think about . . .

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Filed Under: Emergency management

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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  1. Is there a regulation that requires a hospital to have a lock down button?

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