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Regulatory gray areas around this series of less-than-best practices

I was asked about a clean utility room that is also an electrical storage closet, which contains electrical panels, many wires, and oxygen cylinder storage against the wires.

It sounds like the organization had to make use of the available space for its network cabling, and while this is not an optimal environment of care practice, there’s no real regulatory language that precludes it. That said, there are a couple of things I would cite as “other environmental concerns” to consider: [more]

Think about steps to thwart not just infant abductions, but kidnappings of older kids

There is some indication that there is at least one Joint Commission surveyor who is very keen to see what processes are in place to avoid potential abductions of children in the 12+ age range (I tend to think of them as adolescents as a general descriptor).

While environment of care standard EC.02.01.01, EP 9 does specifically mention [more]

The challenges that tie healthcare facilities back to 9/11

Back in 2001, I remember talking to quite a few hospital safety officers and emergency planners about the way the world had changed after 9/11. It wasn’t just the hijacked jets in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania — soon after, the nation was in the midst of anthrax attacks via the mail and there was also concern about potential smallpox bioterrorism.

Yet I re-read some of the articles I wrote at the time and was struck by [more]

H1N1 call brings up hospital access control, sick employees

I listened in on a CMS open forum conference call this afternoon about H1N1 preparedness in healthcare facilities, and the topic of infection control in hospitals came up.

A CDC representative noted that [more]

Security best practices noted at the ASHE conference

I just sat in on a great session by hospital security expert Fred Roll of Healthcare Security Consultants. Here are a few tidbits from his presentation: [more]

Walking free and clear into a locked behavioral unit

I couldn’t help but think of all the security officers out there when I heard a story from a friend over the weekend who went to visit a patient at a locked behavioral unit in a suburban hospital.

As my friend approached the unit, someone coming out of it held open the door for her, so [more]

Generic ID badges are okay for medical students in your hospital

Some of my colleagues and I were talking recently about what to do with ID badges for medical students who are only on site for a week or two.

You could make up a batch of generic student badges without [more]

Michael Jackson’s death forces hospital into a lockdown

Hi folks, it’s Scott Wallask. I was chatting by e-mail with Vernon Goodwin, security director at UCLA Health System in Los Angeles, about the hundreds of people that gathered outside UCLA Medical Center after Michael Jackson’s body arrived at the hospital last Thursday.

Goodwin told me the medical center [more]

Testing the bounds of your lockdown arrangements

One of my clients has an access control system that covers all of exterior doors and several interior doors. Security can use an emergency shutdown button if the facility needed to be locked down.

This approach is absolutely [more]

Police chief: Hospital shooting may reflect society’s overall mood

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask. It was very interesting to hear the police chief of Long Beach, CA, wonder out loud whether a double-murder-suicide at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center — and other mass shootings this year — are a sign of the tough economic times.

During the shooting last Thursday [more]