RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "risk assessments"

I’m talking blog at our Hospital Safety Center Symposium

Exhalation, exultation — we are but a mere two months away from HCPro’s 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium (it’s May 14-15 in Las Vegas), where I’ll be helming a session that focuses on, of all things, this very blog (which, in and of itself, considers all things).

My good friend and partner in rhyme, Scott Wallask, and I have been exhaustively reviewing posts from the past year or so that have generated more than a modicum of interest, either [more]

Ahh, the fact and fiction about blanket warmer temperatures

The idea of blanket warmer temperatures is a fairly simple proposition that has swelled in importance far beyond its likely impact on patient care. This is partially because of some data-driven recommendations, but also because of certain assumptions made by The Joint Commission’s surveyor cadre.

There’s no nationally recognized standard for blanket warmer temperatures, which leaves it all to you to appropriately manage said temps. So that’s the assumption piece. You can fill in your own humorous aside relative to the merits and results of assuming.

Where things get a little more complicated [more]

Clinical alarms: You decide the risk and the follow-up

Remember the former National Patient Safety Goal about failure modes for clinical alarms? The point of the goal was not so much the preventative maintenance aspect, but more relating to the potential for alarm volume settings to be reduced in efforts to control ambient noise during “quiet times.”

Even though The Joint Commission isn’t actively surveying this goal any longer, some of you may still be tracking the concern. It really all falls back into the realm [more]

Use of safety vests by snow-clearing workers hinges on risk assessment

I was recently asked by a safety officer whether staff members who cleared snow from parking lots or mowed lawns need to wear reflective safety vests.

That is a very interesting question, and I do believe it provides me with yet another example [more]

New Joint Commission FAQs should prompt a critical review

I want to jump in with a couple of thoughts relative to the increased activity on the The Joint Commission’s Web site in the FAQ section — especially in the EC, emergency management, and life safety sections. There are nine new FAQs available for your viewing pleasure right now. Go check ’em out (I’ll wait for you to come back).

Back? Good! I think you probably noticed that the topics are scattered across the spectrum. I’m not exactly sure what’s prompted this flurry (it is, after all, winter) of activity, but if you’ll allow me some extrapolation space, it may be that the FAQs have become a venue for moving physical environment compliance into the future. [more]

Mac reacts to the Hudson River plane crash . . . and birds

Kudos to the amazing (I daresay miraculous) response to last week’s jet crash in the Hudson. I was watching some of the footage on The Weather Channel and at first had a difficult time processing what had happened. It’s absolutely astonishing that there was no loss of life.

I haven’t had a chance to dig too deeply into the all the news reports, but I imagine there are at least a couple of New York area hospitals that can check off their Joint Commission influx drill requirement for the year (not that that’s how you want to do it). [more]

Curiously, the EC standards aren’t mentioned in the new Sentinel Event Alert

I saw that The Joint Commission published a new Sentinel Event Alert about preventing technology-related errors.
In reviewing the Alert, The Joint Commission takes some pains to identify standards and performance elements that already exist in this regard, but they don’t mention EC.02.04.01, EP 1, which states the “hospital solicits input from individuals who operate and service equipment when it selects and acquires medical equipment.”
Now, in the Alert, one of the issues that could result in a threat to care and patient safety is when clinicians and other staff are not included in the planning process. To be honest, my first thought was that they were mostly going after medical equipment, though it does appear that this Alert is more aimed at information management and technology improvements.
That said, there is certainly a practical application to this Alert relative to the coordination of medical equipment and peripheral technologies, especially as devices and technology become more and more inextricably linked.
Not that you would ever encounter a surveyor that expanded upon the printed scope of a Sentinel Event Alert into unexpected waters, but if we consider the advice contained in the Alert as best practices, there may be a tacit obligation from the EC end to at least consider some of the identified risks.
After all, it’s not about doing what someone tells us to do, it is about using any available resource to ensure that we are maintaining our care environments in a risk-free, or at least risk-neutral, manner. Can anyone say risk assessment? Sure you can! I suspect I’ll be talking about risk assessments during my session at our 3rd Annual Hospital Safety Center Symposium in May.

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]