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Eyewash stations hinge on chemical use as opposed to a wholesale requirement

Eyewash stations are only required by OSHA in specific instances, and those instances are discerned through a review of the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for the chemicals being used.

If an MSDS indicates that first aid response to an eye exposure requires flushing for 15 or more minutes, then you are looking at an eyewash station. Anything less than 15 minutes, no eyewash is required.

If you remove the chemicals in question [more]

Digging into why LS.02.01.20 tops the most cited standards list

I was talking to one of the writers for our Briefings on Hospital Safety newsletter and the question came up about The Joint Commission’s recently released top cited standards.

The frequently cited standards are pretty much a numbers game and a continuation of [more]

Check out our hospital safety ‘tweets’ on Twitter

I finally stepped fully into 2009 and have begun sending updates via the Twitter social networking site. You can see for yourself at

For those unfamiliar with Twitter, at its core is the ability for users to post short, 140-character updates — known as “tweets” — about what they’re doing. You can keep track of other people’s tweets you’re interested in (i.e., folks you’re “following”) and also see who’s reading your tweets (i.e., who your “followers” are). You need to be registered with Twitter to follow someone’s tweets.

While in some ways Twitter comes across as “too much information,” it is a useful tool to bring news to you, rather than you having to search it out every day.

For example, this week I’ve tweeted about the risk of exposed sprinkler pipes and how hospital engineers can help their CEOs identify inefficiencies. Also, I’m sticking with the topic at hand, hospital safety and environment of care — you won’t see posts from me about the food I ate at lunch or what scenes I most enjoy from Glengarry Glen Ross.

Training for gun incidents, from the latest Briefings on Hospital Safety

Hi folks, it’s Scott Wallask logging on today. Given that most hospitals aren’t using metal detectors at the entrance, it’s not a surprise that some visitors enter the facility carrying guns.

In the p. 1 story of our March issue of Briefings on Hospital Safety [more]

Early thoughts from NYC hospitals about the Hudson River plane crash

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask logging in today. I just chatted with a couple of representatives of New York City hospitals about the plane that crashed into the Hudson River on Thursday afternoon and their facilities’ response to the incident.

Two important early points came up in our conversations: [more]

Some thoughts about The Joint Commission’s new EPs

Regarding these new EPs The Joint Commission released this week, I’d say fortunately, at least on the EC side of things, this is all stuff that is already (or should already be) in place by any organization that can be surveyed directly under the Conditions of Participation (COPs).

For instance, the expansion of consideration of radiation as a hazardous materials under EC.02.02.01 is a direct reflection of section 482.53(c) under the physical environment section of the COPs.


Joint Commission suddenly releases more new EPs for 2009

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask.

In an about-turn from what it said throughout 2008, The Joint Commission has released a slew of new elements of performance (EPs) that were not previously in the accreditor’s 2009 standards. And how’s this: The EPs went into effect January 1, but were just released January 5. Surveyors won’t score the new EPs until July 1, 2009, though, and it’s possible further changes are coming.

And to be fair, the new requirements seem minor or things many of you are already doing.