September 14, 2015 | | Comments 0
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The final countdown

One of the things I’ve noticed in my journey through the highways and byways of healthcare is that we do an awful lot of education. The one compelling example that springs to mind is the challenges we’ve had over the last decade involves the appropriate storage/management of compressed gas cylinders. For years we struggled with getting folks to place the cylinders in an appropriate stand or rack; in some instances, we had to share folks some of those lovely videos of what can happen when an unrestrained cylinders becomes violently “active” (something like this one).

Now, I am happy to report that  it appears that we eventually got folks to come to grips with this (though I still periodically run into pockets of resistance), but now we have a new “foe” in the management of compressed gas cylinders—segregating full and not full cylinders. Now I know that we’ve discussed this in the past, but the thought that I have circling what’s left of my brain is this: recognizing how long it took to get folks to play nice, (so to speak) with appropriately securing those pesky e-cylinders, is there a way we can gain compliance in a more accelerated fashion?

To that end, I would ask you to think about how we did the cylinder restraint education and to come up with a way (or perhaps you already have, in which case, please share) to evaluate the education process. Again, we do a ton of education and yet we still have staff (and others; can’t forget some of those lovely contractors) who do stuff that we don’t want them to do. I harbor no illusion that we can completely eliminate undesirable behaviors, but I think we should be able to improve our “situation” to the point that perhaps only five of the most frequently cited standards reside in the physical environment. Do I hear four? Three? Two? One? What do you think?

Entry Information

Filed Under: Environment of careHospital safetyThe Joint Commission


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

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