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Think ahead about image quality and retrieval with security cameras

I was asked recently about how to assess a hospital security camera system. I think one way of going about it would be to create an inventory, by location, of the devices you have now — cameras, DVRs, etc. — and look at each location as a function of what type and quality of image you would need if you had to respond to some sort of event.

Ask yourself these questions [more]

Stick to required policies in your physical environment program

Sometimes you hear about Joint Commission surveyors requesting to see certain policies in your physical environment program.

Joint Commission standards are not very prescriptive when it comes to the identification of specific policies. The only required policies are [more]

Be cautious about handcuff use, because CMS rules are clear

Handcuffs are a very dicey thing to undertake at this point in hospitals.

The position of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is really one of ensuring that any time handcuffs are used [more]

OSHA doesn’t mandate, but certainly suggests, steps to prevent violence against staff members

In terms of violence against healthcare workers, from my experience, particularly when it comes to discussing such matters with OSHA, other regulators, and labor organizations, anything less than a zero-tolerance stance is difficult to defend.

While there are no OSHA standards that currently apply to workplace violence, the General Duty Clause could be invoked if the impression is that the organization is not working towards solutions. OSHA also has identified [more]

Thoughts about securing medications delivered via a tube system

A plant ops director asked me recently about medications delivered by a tube system and handled in the following scenarios:

  • Allowed to remain sitting in a tube station in the nursing area
  • Placed in an open basket behind the nursing station
  • Put in the possession of the unit team leader

There is no clear method for managing medications delivered to patient units via the tube system. The overarching national regulatory standards in this regard do not [more]

Don’t sacrifice patient comfort for drill realism

I was discussing emergency management scenarios involving a bomb threat and whether such exercises needed to include the movement of actual patients. [more]

After the Fort Hood shootings, Twitter proves useful for one hospital

For many people, social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are frequently used to quote movie lines or discuss whether they had coffee or hair of the dog with their Corn Flakes. But from a professional standpoint, The Joint Commission is encouraging the use of social sites for emergency management purposes.

Thursday’s shootings at Fort Hood, TX, let one facility rev up its Twitter presence with useful updates and information. [more]

Doctor stabbed: When something goes wrong, security feels the heat

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston finds itself in the unenviable position of trying to deal with a pair of high-profile security incidents within the past nine days. [more]

Ultimate fighting star’s alleged assaults reinforce the danger of healthcare work

The subject of workplace violence in hospitals rose out of the weeds again yesterday with word that a Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star had been arrested for allegedly assaulting three nurses at a hospital in Nevada on Tuesday.

Fighter Junie Browning, who was fired by UFC following his arrest, originally went to St. Rose Dominican Hospital’s [more]

The Joint Commission doesn’t mandate infant abduction drills, but …

I suspect that the reason The Joint Commission doesn’t (or perhaps even can’t) require infant abduction drills under EC.02.01.01 is that not everyone has to manage the security of those at-risk populations.

My take on this concern is that Joint Commission officials have tried to create standards and performance elements that can be applied [more]