ASHE will host free webinar on FCC decision
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) is holding a free webinar to discuss the latest information about an important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to allow unlicensed devices to operate on the same channel as the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service used by hospitals.

The FCC approved rules Aug. 6 to permit unlicensed devices to operate on the same channel as the WMTS used by hospitals for patient monitoring devices. Also know as TV White Space devices, the unlicensed devices include garage door openers, cordless phones and Bluetooth technologies.

ASHE and the American Hospital Association shared concerns that the new rule could interfere with wireless monitoring, preventing doctors and nurses from receiving vital patient information. There are more than 360,000 WMTS patient monitors in hospitals today.

Although the request was denied, the FCC did approve a mechanism to increase the buffer zone between a hospital's WMTS and unlicensed devices. However, hospitals that request the buffer will be required to demonstrate that larger protection zones are necessary.

ASHE's webinar, "Critical WMTS Update: What You Need to Know," will take place Sept. 8 at noon CDT.

Also this week:

Joint Commission table lays out top compliance challenges
A table created by the Joint Commission identifies which requirements have posed the most compliance challenges for health facilities during the first half of this year. It compiled the data from various organizations that fall within 11 categories, including hospitals and critical access hospitals (CAHs).

In the hospital and CAH categories, the top challenges fell within Joint Commission standards for Environment of Care, Infection Control, Life Safety and Record of Care. Joint Commission standard EC.02.06.01, which is establishing and maintaining a safe, functional environment, was tNo. 1 for hospitals. Within CAHs, EC.02.05.01, or managing risks associated utility systems, posed the greatest challenge.

CDC updates Ebola PPE guidance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today issued updated guidance regarding personal protective equipment for health care personnel caring for suspected and confirmed Ebola patients in U.S. health care facilities.

APIC releases manual for health care construction
TheInfection Prevention Manual for Construction & Renovationprovides critical resources for infection preventionists needing to develop a comprehensive infection control program during construction.

NIOSH weighs in on hospital cleaning best practices
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health gathered more than 40 experts from various fields to identify knowledge gaps and research needs regarding hospital cleaning and disinfecting. The organization says hospitals need to engage interdisciplinary teams to evaluate the effectiveness of their cleaning and disinfecting practices.

ASPR toolkit helps providers care for homeless during disaster
The Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has published a new toolkit to help health care providers get involved in planning and addressing the unique needs of individuals experiencing homelessness during a disaster. "Disaster Response Guidance for Health Care Providers: Identifying and Understanding the Health Care Needs of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness" is organized into the following four themes: needs identification and assessment; prevention of hospital system surge and coordination of care; medical capacity available for ready mobilization in disasters; and information and educational resources.

CDC video shows how infections spread between facilities
A new video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how infections can be spread between health facilities. The CDC recommends adopting a coordinated approach during which multiple facilities in an area work together to improve infection control and stewardship activities.

Initial meeting set for new OSHA subcommittee
The Emergency Response and Preparedness Subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) will hold its inaugural meeting on Sept. 9 in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee was established to help NACOSH establish advice and recommendations for a proposed rule on emergency response and preparedness.

FDA issues recall alert on endobroncial tube
The Food and Drug Administration is alerting users to a medical device recall by Telefex Medical. Telefex sent an urgent medical device recall notification to customers regarding its Hudson RCI Sheridan Sher-I-Bronch Endobroncial Tube. The recall states that the tube's double swivel connector may break or separate. If this happens, the device may leak, causing the patient to receive insufficienty oxygen or experience respiratory distress.