July 08, 2011 | | Comments 0
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One more from the mailbag

Q: Regarding patient/nonpatient care areas, what about performing site visits to off-site doctor offices run by the medical center? Once yearly or twice yearly?

A: That’s one that could go either way; strictly speaking, the two per year requirement is in the standards specific to hospitals and various assorted healthcare occupancies, but you could make the case that it’s best practice to extend that to physician office practices. What you could do is, if you decide to adopt the once a year, go at it as a function of a risk assessment and leave the option of increasing the frequency if conditions dictate, then wrap the whole thing up as part of the annual evaluation of the program scope. The other thing you could do (and this might be a good compromise) is to create a 10 to 15 item checklist (it can be less, I wouldn’t do more) that someone in the office can do and then do an “official” site visit to make the two per year. Generally speaking, physician office practices don’t endure a lot of variability, so the safety conditions, etc., while not exactly static, are of a much more manageable pace that the acute care setting, so it is entirely appropriate to administer the program accordingly.

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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 stevemacsafetyspace@gmail.com.

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