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Be wary of pitfalls related to electrical outlet protection for children

When it comes to the protection of electrical outlets in units, there is a fairly finite group that you need to consider who are at risk to accidentally (pediatrics) or purposely (psych) shock themselves if the receptacle provides no protection against their doing so.

Beyond pedi and pysch units, other spots to consider are those common areas in which you might have kids, either as patients or visitors.

For instance, if I go into an ED waiting room and I see [more]

Blanket warmers and other tales of the temperature wars + a free tool

At this point, it appears that the concern with the management of blanket warmer temperatures still represents a stumbling block for some folks (folks who, I might add, have spent a fair amount of time trolling the Web, periodically stumbling on this not-quite-so-noble blog in search of guidance).

One of my frequently employed aphorisms is that everyone gets to make their own way in the world, and the issue of blanket warmers is a shining example of [more]

DNV rep discusses surveyor approach to Crocs shoes

Yesterday I was talking to Randy Snelling, CPEO, chief physical environment officer at DNV Healthcare, which accredits hospitals using a combination of CMS’ Conditions of Participation and ISO 9001 quality management.

Snelling mentioned Crocs, which have gotten a fair amount of attention over the years because of a debate on whether these shoes — which are essentially rubber clogs with holes in them — are appropriate in healthcare settings.

When DNV surveyors see Crocs [more]

Some risk assessment targets that you should aim at

Overall, risk assessments are really useful in two general instances:

  • When you have a risk that you cannot eliminate and you need help identifying the means of reducing that risk to the extent possible
  • When you have a risk for which there is no regulatory guidance or requirement and the “way” is not clear

With those thoughts in mind, there are plenty of situations that can benefit from a risk assessment, such as [more]

It’s okay if you don’t have perfect environment of care processes

There is no such thing as a risk-free environment and hasn’t been for a very, very long time.

But that’s okay, and it’s okay if we do not have perfect processes. The management of the environment of care, as it is with most risk management undertakings, is one of continuous [more]

Judge the need to lock up cleaning products with common sense

Regarding my prior post about MSDS exemptions for consumer products, someone asked me whether there are any requirements for cleaning products to be locked up when not in use.

Once again, the risk assessment rears its fiery plumage!

There is little specific guidance in this regard because [more]

EC surveillance rounds keep you ahead of “C” scored provisions

Joint Commission surveyors generally don’t focus too much on the surveillance tour process under EC.04.01.01 unless they feel that the rounds are not doing what they need to.

My advice is to make sure that [more]

Absent regulations, it’s up to hospitals to determine trash compactor safeguards

The safety of operating trash compactors and locking them when not in use is yet another opportunity for a risk assessment.

Strictly speaking, there are no specific regulatory or code requirements for trash compactors in healthcare organizations. But we have learned over the years that [more]

“Wet Floor” signs bring fire safety and tripping risks

I was discussing “Wet Floor” signs with a risk management coordinator, and I told her this is yet another sterling example of the risk assessment process.

“Wet Floor” signs are a tripping hazard, but that hazard has been mitigated to a degree by [more]

Like with household toasters, be wary of Glade PlugIns for hospital use

I’ve occasionally been asked about Glade PlugIns and their appropriateness in hospitals. [more]