1 Safety | Security | Emergency Management | Accreditation Success May 26, 2014 | Vol. 19, No. 11. Infection control Oversee cleaning of linens and protect from contamination to avoid costly infections Understand the requirements necessary to ensure linen are cleaned, transported and stored appropriately in order to avoid contamination, which can lead to dangerous and costly infections within the hospital. Hospital linen, which comes into contact with patients most fre- IN THIS ISSUE. quently as bed sheets or blankets, have specific cleaning requirements before soiled items can be considered safe for reuse within the hospi- Infection control tal, says Carol McLay, DrPH, RN, CIC, Infection prevention consultant Oversee cleaning of linens and protect from and chair of the Communications Committee for the Association for contamination to avoid costly infections .
2 1 Professionals in Infection control and Epidemiology (APIC). Follow these linen-handling measures to (see linens , p. 4). protect your hospital from RFIs ..5. Slow moving but deadly Infection at New Orleans hospital linked to linens ..5 Life safety Life safety Help contractors understand fire safety Help contractors understand fire safety requirements of a project before work begins requirements of a project before work begins ..1. Increase oversight of external contractors and consider investing Roll back roller latches, despite in consulting help for major projects to avoid Life Safety Code viola- potential Life Safety Code tions concerning fire barrier integrity.
3 Facilities management The Joint Commission cited about 48% of hospitals surveyed in Better documentation translates into better 2013 for issues related to Life Safety standard , or the utilities (see fire safety, p. 6). Environment of care New EPs align TJC standards with CMS rules on Join us for EC Summit, Oct. 13-14, in Las Vegas alternative Join us for the EC Summit at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Emergency planning Oct. 13-14, to hear top safety and security experts offer TJC, CDC: Prepare now to deal with up-to-date information on changes to fire safety requirements, possible MERS-CoV challenges in emergency planning, hospital security solutions and new tools to improve your Environment of Care.
4 Sign up What's wrong with this picture? now at How can you fix the RFIs?..8. Environment of Care Leader | Toll-free: 1-855-225-5341 | Two Washingtonian Center | 9737 Washingtonian Blvd., Ste. 200 | Gaithersburg, MD 20878-7364. May 26, 2014 ENVIRONMENT of CARE LEADER. Facilities management Shore up documentation to address all three issues and improve compliance and performance. In some Better documentation translates cases, the language in Joint Commission (TJC) standards into better utilities compliance can be vague, which means hospitals must establish prac- tices based on their own situation and then make sure Tighten up paperwork practices to avoid RFIs for mis- that expectations are clear to facilities staff, nursing staff managing utilities and associated risks.
5 Chances are the and others as appropriate. proper policies are in place but are simply not understood or followed by staff, experts say. EP 5: Follow the policy'. Violations related to Environment of Care standard Under EP 5, problems typically occur as a result of for managing utility risks lead to RFIs in 47% failure to follow your own policy, Flannery asserts. of hospitals surveyed in 2013, according to information Sometimes the nursing staff doesn't know what they're released by The Joint Commission (TJC). That was up supposed to be checking, Flanner says. If you haven't from 34% of hospitals scored under that standard in 2012.
6 Trained staff or there's no documentation that this is being There are three Elements of Performance (EPs) monitored, you get written up.. that cause the most problems, says Jonathan Flannery, Make sure you have an accurate inventory of water a health care engineer and senior associate director systems that fall under the standard and a policy guiding of advocacy for the American Society for Healthcare their maintenance. Then simply communicate the organi- Engineering, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization. zation's requirements to the nurses, maintenance person- They are: nel or whichever parties are tasked with carrying out the EP 5: Hospitals must minimize pathogenic biologi- physical checks.
7 Cal agents in cooling towers, hot- and cold-water systems, Those checks can include inspecting the equipment, and other aerosolizing water systems. maintaining hot and cold water at certain temperatures as EP 6: In areas designed to control biological agents, determined by hospital policies, and other factors. gases, fumes, dust or other airborne contaminants, the Situations and policies will differ from facility to facility. ventilation system must provide appropriate filtration, What's important is that staff execute what the hospital's pressure relationships and air-exchange rates. policy stipulates, and that the execution is documented EP 13: A hospital must respond to disruptions of its for surveyors, Flannery says.
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