ASHE gives new guidance on operating room humidity, temperature and ventilation requirements
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), in partnership with several other organizations, is addressing issues related to temperature, humidity and ventilation requirements for hospital operating rooms and sterile processing departments. While the joint task force works to create more unified standards and guidelines outlining these HVAC requirements, ASHE has issued interim guidance for health care organizations and others affected by these regulations.

The Joint Interim Guidance: HVAC in the Operating Room and Sterile Processing Department seeks to help owners and designers of health care facilities understand the purpose and scope of the various requirements so that patient and staff safety and comfort can be managed more effectively.

Also this week:

HHS launches resources system to improve disaster preparedness
The Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response recently launched TRACIE, or the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange. The resource was developed by a network of national experts and features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters.

Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert on fall prevention
Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert 55 addresses the underlying causes of patient falls. It also gives six actions health facilities can take to improve fall prevention and links to external resources and toolkits.

ASHE, Joint Commission update Focus on Compliance resource
The American Society for Healthcare Engineering has posted additional resources on its Focus on Compliance website to help round out guidance on utility system compliance with Joint Commission requirements.

CMS awards $110 million to health systems to improve patient safety
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $110 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 17 national, regional or state hospital associations and health system organizations to continue efforts in reducing preventable hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. CMS set a goal in 2011 to reduce preventable hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent.