June 03, 2010 | | Comments 3
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Does The Joint Commission allow fans in patient care or laboratory areas?

Q: Are fans allowed in patient rooms? What about in the nurses station? This has been an ongoing debate, so thought I’d go to the expert.

This is yet another example of how wide-open compliance can be; and interestingly enough, this is a topic upon which The Joint Commission has actually commented and provides a wee bit of direction.

Ultimately, it falls back on the individual organizations to determine whether or not the risks associated with the use of fans in various locations can be appropriately managed. For good or ill, occupant comfort is a big sticking point, especially in buildings with older HVAC equipment or less HVAC-friendly design (nothing like opening some windows to mess up air balancing). And there will always be the struggle in semi-private rooms in which one occupant is too hot and the other is too cold, and we get to play Goldilocks.

You can find the The Joint Commission information on their website under the Frequently Asked Questions section. Plus you can find more guidance on the use of fans as it relates to infection control on our sister blog OSHA Healthcare Advisor, along with temperature considerations in the lab.

Entry Information

Filed Under: Environment of care

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. Does Texas law or regulations allow fans in the work area of hospital staff or patient rooms?

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  3. I had the same question about fans in hospitals. I have worked in facilities in a couple hospitals. I have been asked to play the fan cop. Ask people to take them home, confiscate cut cords and trash them. We get a lot of greif from this practice. Moreover, complaints to mgt. Kinda leaves a sour taste in your mouth from time to time. The joint comm. Is what is the reason for all the things people question…. but you never see it in documentation, everything is from mouth. You feel pretty stupid quoting what you have been told; with a pretty good sense that it’s not correct….. Don’t mean to bash religion, but sometime you think the leaders are on their own crusade. They real code grey in a hospital!….. I would like to see documentation that it’s OK OR not.

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