April 15, 2014 | | Comments 1
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News flash: Vacuum cleaner sucks up budgie!

Actually, the news is even bigger than that: it appears that the CMS machine is churning inexorably towards adoption of the 2012 edition of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code. While the last year or so has seen plenty of tidbits (in the form of waivers) tossed our way, the day we’ve been waiting for is finally upon us. There will be plenty of opportunities for in-depth analysis (minimally, TJC is going to have to reconfigure the accreditation manuals to reflect the changes; just when I had memorized the standard and EP numbers…drat!), but I think the main focus for folks is to weigh in on how this is all going to shake out over the next 12 to 18 months.

Fortunately, the powers that be are allowing a two-month comment period that is scheduled to end on June 16, 2014 (everything should be finalized for CMS in about a nine to 12-month timeframe following the close of the comment period). The proposed rule is available for viewing, at which point you can download the proposed rule in its entirety (and it is, as one might suspect, a pretty entire entirety, which is not so very far from decomposing composers, but I digress). There is much information to digest, and again, we’ll have some time to watch how this whole thing comes to fruition. But once again, it’s important to do the reading ahead of time. Confab with your engineering colleagues at the local, state, regional, and national levels; this may very well be the most sweeping change we’re likely to see in the practical application of the Life Safety Code in our hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Make sure everyone with a voice can be heard in the discussion!

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Filed Under: CMSLife Safety CodeThe Joint Commission

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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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  1. Am I wrong, or does it appear that the budgie sitting atop the telly has laid an egg? If I’m reading the Federal Register posting correctly, it seems that CMS cherry-picks which parts of the 2012 LSC they’ll adopt. For example, Sections 18.3.2.3 and 19.3.2.3 refer to NFPA 99-2012, which permits a lower level of protection being requred in wnidowless anesthetizing locations. Yet CMS proposes to retain the more restrictive requirement listed in NFPA 99-1999. There are a few other instances of CMS saying, “The 2012 Code says this, but we want that instead.” I’m all in favor of providing a relevant level of safety, but it seems that we will now have to make pen-and-ink changes in the new code books we purchase and use. Please tell me if I’m reading something that’s not there.

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