The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in April proposed adopting updated editions of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, though the agency's proposed rule would also make several important changes to the codes, according to the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE). Among these changes, CMS would delete NFPA 99's emergency preparedness chapter in light of CMS' own proposed requirements, redefine "health care occupancy" and require smoke removal in anesthetizing locations. ASHE supports CMS' move to update life safety standards, but has concerns about the proposed changes. It is asking its members to provide feedback on the CMS proposal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been updating its Web page on Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) following the recent discovery of cases within the United States. So far, all the cases have been linked to countries in the Arabian Peninsula, the CDC reports, and have been spread from ill people to others through close contact. However, there is no evidence of sustained spreading in community settings. The CDC's Web page includes a link for health care organizations that offers information on preparedness as well as infection control and prevention.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers recently announced a fourth public review of its "substantially rewritten" draft Standard 188P, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, is being targeted for this summer. "The new version of the standard will provide the building community with reasonable and practical methods to control exposure to the bacterium that could cause harm," says Tom Watson, chair of the Standard 188P committee.
A report in the May issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal identified hospital linens as the vehicle that led to an outbreak of mucormycosis, a highly fatal invasive fungal infection. Later picked up by the general media, "Mucormycosis Outbreak Associated With Hospital Linens" centered on five deaths at a pediatric hospital in 2008 and 2009. Hospital linens should be laundered, packaged, shipped and stored in a manner that minimizes exposure to environmental contaminants, states the report's abstract.
The Joint Commission recently announced that it is postponing the July 1, 2014, implementation of the revised diagnostic imaging requirements that appear in the 2014 Update 1 to the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual. Published in January, the new and revised requirements addressed risks associated with diagnostic imaging for accredited hospitals, critical access hospitals and ambulatory care organizations that provide diagnostic imaging services. The changes were intended to be effective July 1 with additional changes to be phased in by 2015, but have been delayed due to concerns expressed by stakeholders. The goal now is to implement revised standards by July 2015.