Industry Update - April 2019
by Joe Brothman, Director, EHS & EM, UCI Health
Click here to access the full PDF version of this month's update.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made two changes to its Emergency Preparedness Appendix Z. The first change added “emerging infectious diseases” to the current definition of all-hazards approach. “In light of events such as the Ebola virus and Zika, we believe that facilities should consider preparedness and infection prevention within their all-hazards approach, which covers both natural and man-made disasters,” the document states. “This addition should be added to your Hazard Vulnerability Assessment process.” In the second change, CMS has added guidance under Tag E0015 – Alternate Source Power and Tag E0042 – Emergency Standby Power Systems. These clarifications recommend that facilities should use the most appropriate energy source or electrical system based on its review of its individual facility’s all-hazards risks assessment and as required by existing regulations or state requirements.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that in light of the ongoing outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo, U.S. health care facilities should review their infection prevention and control processes to safely identify and manage patients with communicable infections. The CDC communication reviews the steps that facilities should implement as a routine part of triage to quickly identify, isolate and inform public health authorities about patients who may have communicable infections; current Ebola infection prevention and control recommendations for U.S. health care facilities; the U.S. Regional Treatment Network for Ebola and Other Special Pathogens; and other resources. Recommendations include separate protocols for personal protective equipment when dealing with patients with confirmed Ebola Virus Disease, and posting patient contact protocols in easily visible locations.
The National Council of Occupational Health and Safety solicited information from a network of health and safety activists about companies that put workers and communities at risk. Criteria for inclusion included severity of injuries to workers; exposure to unnecessary and preventable risk; repeat citations by relevant state and federal authorities; and activity by workers to improve their health and safety conditions.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is requesting public comments regarding Ligature Risk Interpretive Guidelines by June 17, 2019. The proposed guidance includes several updates to the December 8, 2017 S&C Letter Clarification on Ligature Policy. ASHE is requesting that members share their concerns and comments regarding the proposed guidance. Please complete the survey by May 17, 2019.
In the wake of the most destructive wildfire season in California history, California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“DOSH”), has issued a proposed emergency regulation intended to protect workers from wildfire smoke. On April 15th, 2019, DOSH released the proposed regulation and scheduled a hearing to discuss the regulation for May 8th, 2019 in Oakland.
In hospitals all over the country, there exist extremely robust building automation systems (BAS), designed to provide constant monitoring of critical equipment. They are screaming for help, and no one is paying attention. It isn’t due to negligence or apathy. It is due to a condition known as alarm fatigue.
Alarm fatigue is caused by two major oversights at the infancy of installation and design of the system: Lack of alarm standards and specifications, and Lack of development of an alarm management plan.
ASHE has developed a tool to help members make the decisions necessary for an alarm management plan. The plan will define the risk, response and escalation required for each alarm type. This will allow operators to prioritize the alarms as they arrive and take appropriate action for each, while providing a clear path for escalation when an alarm goes unacknowledged.
The Joint Commission shared the Top 10 Challenging Standards for accredited Ambulatory Health Care (AHC)
organizations and Office-Based Surgery (OBS) practices for 2018. The Joint Commission regularly analyzes
standards compliance data to help identify the most common challenges impacting AHC and OBS customers. Our aim
is to recognize compliance trends and help accredited organizations – or those seeking accreditation – better
understand, prepare for, and address standards compliance challenges.