NFPA’s 2018 Life Safety and Health Care Facilities codes open for comment

NFPA 101: Life Safety Code and NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code are now open for public comment.

The Life Safety Code is the most widely used source for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards. It is the only document that covers life safety in both new and existing structures.

NFPA 99 establishes criteria for levels of health care services or systems based on risk to patients, staff or visitors in health care facilities to minimize the hazards of fire, explosion and electricity.

The public can review the drafts and submit comments online by May 16.

Physical environment ranks as fifth leading root cause of sentinel events

Joint Commission updated its sentinel event statistics through the end of 2015, which reveal the most frequently reported sentinel events and the most frequently identified root causes for sentinel events in health care. Out of the top 10 sentinel events, falls ranked as No. 3 and fire at No. 10. Among root causes, the physical environment was the fifth leading cause.

Study: Location of hand sanitizer affects its use by hospital visitors Placing alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the middle of a hospital lobby floor in front of the visitor entrance increased visitor usage by 528 percent, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control. Researchers from Clemson University and the Greenville (S.C.) Health System conducted a three-week observational study at Greenville Memorial Hospital, in which they observed the hand sanitizer use of more than 6,600 visitors. They found usage of the hand sanitizer was 5.28 times higher when the dispenser was in the middle of the entrance versus near the information desk off to the side of the lobby.

CDC tracks states’ progress on public health concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its Prevention Status Reports on 10 important public health problems and concerns, including health care-associated infections. The reports highlight the status of public health policies and practices to address these matters.

ASPR releases Zika resources for emergency response personnel

The Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has released a new comprehensive resource on Zika virus for clinicians and emergency response personnel. Zika: Resources at Your Fingertips includes an overview of the virus — where it is found, its epidemiology, symptoms and how it is transmitted — as well as considerations and resources for health care providers according to profession/facility. The guide will be updated as new information or guidance emerges.

HITRUST issues guide to implementing NIST cybersecurity framework in health care

The Health Information Trust Alliance released a new guide to help health care organizations use its risk management framework to implement the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s framework for reducing cybersecurity risks to critical infrastructure. According to HITRUST, the “mutual goal is to help organizations assess and improve their level of cyber resiliency, and provide suggestions on how to link cybersecurity with current information security and privacy risk management activities” in the health care and public health sectors.