One of the key activities in any survey – mock or the real thing – are those precious moments when surveyors “corner” a front line staff person to answer some pertinent questions. The fact of the matter is that a lot of your survey success rests in the hands of the folks at the point of care and point of service in your organization. You may have the most pristine documentation imaginable, but the folks in the trenches need to be able to articulate competencies well beyond the “just doing my job” everyday functions.
So, when a survey traces through surgical procedure-related areas such as the cardiac cath lab, endoscopy, PACU, same-day surgery, and the operating areas – even your emergency department – it is very likely that questions will be raised regarding the management of surgical fire risk. And I can tell you that it is most disturbing as a consultant to hear that staff in some of these areas don’t take part in fire drills because they are “in the middle of cases” when these practice exercises are conducted. [more]
The newsletter submitted questions directly to OSHA regarding the possibility of an infectious disease standard. Here’s one of the answers they got back: [more]
Q: I have responsibility for environmental services (EVS), and as such deal with laundry, sharps and infectious waste haulers. As a part of my duties, I have been visiting vendor sites for the last ten years to inspect their operations and insure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, and reporting these visits to the Environment of Care (EOC) committee once a year. Is it a Joint Commission requirement that these inspections occur and are reported, and what is the requirement number?
A: When I was responsible for EVS, I did much the same thing for the linen and medical waste vendors, but I can tell you for certain that there is no specific Joint Commission requirement to do so. [more]
You don’t typically see hospitals posting videos of disaster drills on the internet. But then again, you don’t typically see hospital CEOs blogging either.
Paul Levy, well-known president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston (and frequent blogger), posted a video of one of his hospital’s disaster drills. The drill took place in the NICU, and the scenario required the evacuation of two dozen newborn (albeit fake) babies to another floor. The video shows how staff led efforts to transport the infants after elevators failed, keeping life support systems in place all the while. [more]
If you’ve ever seen Finding Nemo, you’ll know that fish tanks can get right nasty very quickly if they are not well-cared for.
That said, there’s not a ton of specific guidance on this regard; even the CDC Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities uses no stronger dictate than “avoid” when it comes to fish tanks: [more]
A regular contributor to our sister blog, OSHA Healthcare Advisor, has just released a third edition of the Complete Guide to Laboratory Safety, which covers a number of regulations including OSHA, Joint Commission, CAP, CLSI, among others.
Terry Jo Gile MT(ASCP), MA Ed., aka “The Safety Lady®,” blogs on a regular basis about lab safety issues. The third edition is updated from from the last edition, which was published in 2007. This edition includes: [more]
For those of you that have already read Steve MacArthur’s last post on The Joint Commission’s Sentinel Event Alert, you know the importance of a risk assessment when it comes to violence in your facility. However, the uncertainty of security threats requires constant reassessment, and even the best plans can be put to the test.
Has the Sentinel Event Alert caused you to do a double-take regarding your security program? [more]
“It can’t happen here… can it? You betcha it can!”
That’s the question and answer that hospitals are really going to need to start working on in order to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the management of violence in their facility. Sentinel Event Alert #45, while based on a fairly small sample size of data, seems to be at least somewhat driven by the recent increase in high-profile events in and around hospitals. [more]
For those of you that couldn’t make it out to Las Vegas last month for the Fourth Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium, you don’t have to lament missing out on the expert advice and speaker presentations.
This year, for the first time since we’ve been doing the symposium, we added an online virtual component to the conference. Each presentation was videotaped and fed over a website. A number of people took advantage of this new opportunity, and watched the conference from the comfort of their own desks (forfeiting all the amenities of Vegas, of course). [more]
A reader contacted me recently asking where in the Life Safety Code® (LSC) does it say that the elevators are not permitted to be used when the fire alarm is activated and there is a presumption of fire. Most of us have probably seen the signs posted in the elevator lobby that reads, “In case of fire, do not use elevators,” so where is the requirement to post these signs? This is what the LSC says concerning the use of elevators during a fire.
In the 2000 edition of the LSC, elevators are never permitted to be used as a component in a required means of egress, and for obvious reasons, as they can be disabled in a fire situation. Section 7.2 of the LSC lists those components that are permitted to be used as a required means of egress, depending on whether or not they are allowed by the individual occupancy chapter. For healthcare occupancies, there are four components that are not allowed to be used as a required means of egress: [more]