Briefings on Hospital Safety, May 2018
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May 1, 2018
Editor's Note: Click the PDF button above for a full edition of the May 2018 edition of Briefings on Hospital Safety.
Be able to show a thorough risk assessment along with a plan for intervention if surveyors question the use of some hospital beds on behavioral health units that also serve geriatric patients. Ligature risk has become a high-profile issue for CMS, The Joint Commission and other accrediting organizations with both TJC and CMS in the last six months issuing new and clarified guidelines for hospitals on how they expect to protect patients from self-harm.
Remember to provide fall-protection training to any worker at your facility who may be exposed to a fall of more than 4 feet and ensure any contractors are also meeting the safety requirements under the newly revised OSHA standard. In addition, any fixed ladders over 24 feet must be equipped with fall arrest or safety systems.
Make a list of all areas that are required to have positive or negative air pressure and ensure those areas are checked regularly to avoid possible condition-level findings by CMS, TJC, or another jurisdiction having authority. For rooms that are in older buildings or areas that might have a harder time maintaining the correct air pressure, check every morning, particularly if you are expecting survey.
The FDA in December issued a final rule on the safety and effectiveness of active ingredients in over-the-counter healthcare antiseptic hand washes and rubs that could potentially be used in a medical setting. The final rule, which led to the ban of 24 chemicals, might not have been all that surprising. But it is still significant.
After the newest clarification on fire doors from CMS and revisions to The Joint Commission’s Life Safety standard on providing building features to protect against fire and smoke hazards, it is recommended that healthcare facilities examine all automatic door arrangements. For the most part, the revision and clarification do not change the requirements for hospital fire doors that have been in place for some time.