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Question yourself about inventories under EM.01.01.01

Under emergency management standard EM.01.01.01, The Joint Commission requires a documented inventory that includes, and I quote, “the resources and assets [the hospital] has on site that may be needed during an emergency . . .”

Now this inventory has to, as specifically noted in the standard, include the following: [more]

Research contends PPE use may be vastly underestimated during a disaster

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask. Hope everyone enjoyed their New Year’s celebrations, however loud or quiet they may have been.
One of HCPro’s free e-newsletters, Infection Control Weekly Monitor, recently published information about a study that surprised me.
The research, published in the Journal of Infection Control, made some stark conclusions regarding personal protective equipment use during a disaster. The study involved a 24-hour flu pandemic exercise in a British hospital.
According to researchers, in the worst-case scenario during the height of a flu pandemic, a ward with patients experiencing the same symptoms could expect to use:
  • 5,250 plastic aprons per week (compared to normal use of 400)
  • 8,400 pairs of gloves per week(compared to normal use of 850)
  • 4,550 surgical masks per week(compared to normal use of less than 10)
  • 100 respirators equivalent to an N99 model per week, a higher protection than common N95 respirators (compared to a normal use of 0)
The surgical mask use represents a 450-fold increase. “This has significant implications not only for cost and procurement, but also for storage. Accommodating supplies on the ward for the 24 hours of the exercise was difficult,” researches wrote in the Journal of Infection Control.
Why did this increase happen? One idea floated by researchers was that staff members lacked confidence in using personal protective equipment during a pandemic response and found the items uncomfortable to wear for long periods, which in turn dragged out the time needed to complete even basic duties.

Emergency management scoring grace period ends January 1

Hi folks, it’s Scott Wallask checking in today. Steve Mac is on vacation this week (well deserved after I heard about the amount of miles he logged in the air in the last couple of months).

I wanted to remind you that a Joint Commission grace period–during which certain emergency management citations wouldn’t count against your hospital’s accreditation status–is ending as of January 1.

Because the new 2009 emergency management chapter renumbers the previous standards, double-check these provisions, all of which fell under the grace period in 2008:

  • EM.01.01.01, EP 8-Documenting an inventory of assets and resources
  • EM.02.02.03, EP 6-Monitoring quantities of assets and resources
  • EM.02.01.01, EP 3-Meeting the 96-hour provision
  • EM.02.02.01, EP 7-Communicating with vendors of essential supplies and services
  • EM.02.02.03, EP 5-Sharing of assets and resources with healthcare facilities outside of the community
  • EM.02.02.03, EP 9-Transporting patients, medications, equipment, and staff members to alternate care sites
  • EM.02.02.05, EP 3-Coordinating security activities with outside agencies
  • EM.02.02.05, EP 4-Managing hazardous materials and wastes
  • EM.02.02.07, EP 7-Training staff members about their roles in emergency response
  • EM.02.02.07, EP 8-Communicating with licensed independent practitioners about their roles in emergency response
  • EM.02.02.09, EP 5-Determining alternative supplies of fuel for building operations or essential transport activities
  • EM.02.02.11, EP 6-Managing mental health needs of patients
  • EM.02.02.11, EP 7-Managing mortuary services
  • EM.02.02.11, EP 8-Documenting and tracking clinical information

Emergency management will be a big part of our 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium in May, so I encourage you to check out the full agenda.

The debate over storing cardboard boxes

There are really no standards for dealing with the storage of cardboard boxes on wooden pallets. Much as it is with the storage of materials under sinks, the expectation is that each organization will conduct a risk assessment relative to the practice in question.

For instance, while there are certainly going to be containers [more]