Industry Update - December 2018

by Joe Brothman, Director, EHS & EM, UCI Health


Click here to access the full PDF version of this month's update.

2018 Hospital Security Survey Results

Over 315 hospitals participated in the ASHE & the IAHSS 2018 Hospital Security Survey. Results show hospitals are increasing security related-spending in response to increased incidents, nationwide. Survey results are widespread but emerging trends include:

  • Security incidents are rising, not just in hospitals but all provider types.
  • Access control is proving to be a key piece of infrastructure.
  • Security budgets and staff are increasing due to the increase in incidents.

Medicare COP’s: Proposed Rule

On Sept. 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published a proposed rule for reforming Medicare regulations that the agency identified as unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome on health care providers and suppliers.

Key EC/LS/EM Takeaways

  • CMS proposes to:
  • QAPI and Infection Control: Adopt the option of a system approach, rather than the current hospital-by-hospital approach.
  • Emergency Preparedness Testing: Change to biennial reviews, as opposed to current annual review requirements for hospitals.

FDA Announces Device Cybersecurity Actions

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a framework to help hospitals and other health care providers plan for and respond to cybersecurity incidents involving medical devices. Developed by Mitre Corp., the “playbook” includes such steps as developing a medical device inventory and conducting training exercises. The agency also announced two memoranda of understanding to create information-sharing analysis organizations, groups of experts that will gather, analyze and disseminate information about cyber threats. “We believe this transparent sharing of information will help manufacturers address issues earlier and result in more protection for patients,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

ASHE’s NEW Quick Training Programs

ASHE’s Quick Training series is one of several new resources ASHE has developed this year to assist members provide training to not only themselves, but also their teams. The Quick Training series includes three programs:

  • Wet Sprinkler Systems
  • Annual Visual Sprinkler Inspection
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers.

Each program includes education as well as a short online quiz, which participants can take to gain a certificate of completion.

5 Tips to Submit Regulatory Comments

ASHE’s advocacy team assisted authoring an article in Health Facilities Management on how health facilities professionals can write an effective public comment and engage in the regulatory process. Their tips include:

  1. Be sure the comment is applicable to the proposal.
  2. Clearly state your position for or against the proposal.
  3. Include data or evidence to support your position that is specific to your experience.
  4. Offer suggestions to amend specific parts of the proposal.
  5. Offer particular additions that could improve the proposal.

The full article can be found on the Health Facilities Management website.

ASHE’s 3-Step Ligature-Risk Guidance

ASHE has recently advised upon a three-step strategy for managing ligature risks and preventing patient self-harm in general acute care or emergency department settings (no psychiatric units).

  1. Identify patient current at risk for self-harm.
  2. Observe patient under 1-to-1 monitoring.
  3. Remove or clinically mitigate environmental risks if 1-to-1 observation is not feasible.

For the full article, please visit the Health Facilities Management website.

ASHE Lunch & Learn: Severe Storm & Disaster Preparedness

ASHE’s Lunch and Learn webinar series covers variety of topics and solutions for those who design, build, operate, and maintain hospitals. These webinars, which range from 30 to 45 minutes, are a way to find out about new innovations and stay up-to-date on critical issues – all on your lunch break.

The December 11th webinar goes over how facilities professionals can prepare their operations for a hurricane or natural disaster. Register Now!

ASPR TRACIE HICS Webinar Recording

Health & Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), created the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) to meet the information and technical assistance needs of regional ASPR staff, healthcare coalitions, healthcare entities, healthcare providers, emergency managers, public health practitioners, and others working in disaster medicine, healthcare system preparedness, and public health emergency preparedness. This new recorded webinar gives history about the hospital-based incident command from speakers who have activated their command systems in response to recent incidents.

Relief for Hospitals Affected by Wildfires

Hospitals in need of relief from licensing regulations due to the recent wildfires across California should refer to All Facilities Letter 18-51, issued by the CDPH. To assist hospitals in their recovery efforts, CHA has prepared spreadsheets that facilities may use to track utilization and other important data in the wake of a disaster. Facilities can also refer to CHA’s Preparing for the Financial Impacts of a Disaster guidebook and FEMA’s Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.

Revised NPSG 15.01.01

The Joint Commission has announced revisions to its National Patient Safety Goal (NPSG) addressing suicide prevention for those identified at high risk for suicide.

The new and revised requirements address:

  • Environmental risk assessment and action to minimize suicide risk
  • Use of a validated screening tool to assess patients at risk
  • Evidence-based process for conducting suicide risk assessments of patients screened positive for suicidal ideation
  • Documentation of patients’ risk and the plan to mitigate
  • Written policies and procedures addressing care of at-risk patients, and evidence they are followed
  • Policies and procedures for counseling and follow-up care for at-risk patients at discharge
  • Monitoring of implementation and effectiveness, with action taken as needed to improve compliance