AHA guide shows C-suite how physical environment affects patient experience

A new guide, “Improving the Patient Experience through the Health Care Physical Environment,” was developed to educate hospital leaders on ways to improve HCAHPS scores across an entire facility, not just in quietness and cleanliness.

Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence, the Health Research & Educational Trust and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, all affiliated with the American Hospital Association, worked together to develop a model focused on “people, process and place,” that takes a more holistic approach to improving the patient experience in the physical environment.

The guide features case studies; a hospital leader checklist; a template for using the people, process and place model; a detailed table outlining eight domains of care measured by the HCAHPS survey and their relationships to the physical environment; along with additional resources.

Hospital leaders can download the guide for free.

Joint Commission updates emergency management portal after Brussels attack

Following terrorist attacks in Brussels last month, the Department of Homeland Security and Health & Human Services developed a resource for health care providers to support situational awareness and readiness for such events. The Joint Commission added the resource to its emergency management portal.

Suggested actions for preparing staff include:

  • Reviewing security plans and conducting practice exercises
  • Reviewing drills for active shooter, suspicious activity reporting or counter-improvised explosive device preparedness
  • Ensuring that emergency communications equipment is properly functioning

The resource also advises to reinforce to employees that they are well-positioned to apply their familiarity with their surroundings in such events by recognizing what’s common and what varies from the norm, staying vigilant throughout their shifts, and reporting suspicious activity in a timely manner.

FDA says CT interference on electronic medical devices is low

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated public health information regarding interference between computed tomography (CT) and electronic medical devices. The FDA says it has received a small number of adverse-event reports that it believes is associated with CT imaging of some implantable and wearable electronic devices, such as insulin pumps. When a CT scanner directly irradiates the circuitry of the medical device, it can cause interference and affect the function of the device. However, the probability of interference is extremely low and is completely avoided when the medical device is outside of the primary X-ray beam of the CT scanner.

White House plans to update toolkit for climate-resilient health care facilities

The White House announced actions to address challenges and vulnerabilities related to climate change. Its plans include updating the Health & Human Services’ Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Health Care Facilities Toolkit. The plans were announced as the Obama administration released its report, “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment.”

ASHE posts new fire-safety resources in Focus on Compliance portal

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering, in partnership with the Joint Commission, released new building and fire protection resources for health care facilities. The resources address Joint Commission Standard LS.02.01.10, which covers fire doors and barrier management.

FDA panel issues recommendations for medical device evaluation system

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the Food and Drug Administration released preliminary recommendations for a coordinating center that will be responsible for developing a national medical device evaluation system. The report, “Better Evidence on Medical Devices”, is the first in a series to foster public discussion around medical device safety.

National Zika Summit focused on coordinated U.S. response

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered more than 300 local, state and federal government officials, health experts and nongovernmental partners for a one-day Zika Action Plan Summit. Attendees were informed of the latest scientific knowledge about Zika and best practices to address the virus.