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Alleged fire safety worries, other lapses spell big trouble for a hospital

There was an attention-getting article in this week’s issue of our Hospital Safety Connection e-newsletter about a California hospital that got fined 100 grand by the state for low humidity levels in an OR, which raised concerns that electrosurgical instruments could spark and ignite a fire in the dry air.

I have to admit that in my years of covering life safety, I never [more]

Is there any leeway to not test automatic transfer switches monthly?

I was asked whether there was any flexibility to test transfer switches at intervals less than normally prescribed. For example, might you be able to test low-risk transfer switches, such as those serving the kitchen, less frequently?

Let’s start with Joint Commission environment of care standard EC.02.05.07. EP 6 requires that, “Twelve times a year at intervals of not less than 20 days and not more than 40 days, the hospital tests all automatic transfer switches. The completion date of the test is documented.”

The key word here is “all,” and the key pain in the posterior is that [more]

Look beyond The Joint Commission for rules on who inspects imaging items

The Joint Commission does not specify in the environment of care standards who inspects imaging equipment, but where this all kind of spins out from is in the CMS Conditions of Participation (COPs).

The Joint Commission has been working very diligently– though often, seemingly, at the business end of a sharp stick — to come into closer compliance with the COPs.

The COPs section on nuclear medicine (and yes I recognize that imaging and nuclear medicine are not necessarily synonymous, but sometimes compliance becomes a function of how far you can stretch a concept) requires the following [more]