ASHE announces new executive director

The American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) has named as its new executive director P.J. Andrus, who currently serves as a deputy executive director for the society. “I am honored and excited for the opportunity to continue working with ASHE’s board of directors, our team and dedicated members,” says Andrus, who joined ASHE 11 years ago. “We will be keenly focused on supporting our members with the professional development, advocacy representation, information and resources they need to face the challenges of today and the future, and to excel in their careers.” Andrus will succeed Dale Woodin, who now serves as AHA vice president for personal membership groups. A column by Andrus is on Page 39 of this issue.

FGI seeks feedback on 2018 guidelines

The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has invited users of the FGI Guidelines to comment on its draft 2018 documents, posted for public review until Dec. 12. The multidisciplinary, 100-member Health Guidelines Revision Committee, the body responsible for the content of the guidelines, revises and updates the text every four years to keep pace with changes in the health care and residential care fields and to clarify the requirements to make compliance easier. The 2018 guidelines revision cycle will yield three guidelines documents — one for hospitals, one for outpatient facilities and one for residential health, care and support facilities.

Joint Commission launches violence prevention center

The Joint Commission recently launched an online resource center dedicated to preventing workplace violence in health care settings. The resource center, “Workplace Violence Prevention Resources,” provides a broad range of resources for health care organizations, health care professionals and the general public. The Joint Commission developed the resource center in response to statistics that show a higher rate of workplace violence in health care compared with that of other settings, as well as the request of accredited organizations and committee members who have stressed the need for resources to help mitigate workplace violence in health care.

FDA alerts providers to defibrillator recall

St. Jude Medical has recalled 13 models of its implantable cardioverter defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator because the batteries may fail earlier than expected, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports. Health care providers should not implant any unused devices, the FDA states. Providers and patients also should respond immediately to an elective replacement indicator alert in the affected models, because some batteries have run out within 24 hours of the alert rather than the typical period of three months, according to the FDA. Among other actions, providers should consider whether elective device replacement is warranted for pacemaker-dependent patients, the agency states. Nearly 350,000 of the devices are actively implanted worldwide.

HPOE, Joint Commission release fall prevention tool

American Hospital Association’s (AHA’s) Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence initiative and the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare released a guide to help hospitals prevent patient falls and associated injuries. The guide describes contributing factors and solutions to prevent falls, identified by the center’s project to prevent falls with injury. The center’s Targeted Solutions Tool helps hospitals to measure and analyze the contributing factors unique to their respective organizations, based on 30 root causes and 21 targeted solutions. Hospitals participating in the project reduced patient falls by 35 percent and falls with injury by 62 percent. The tool is available to all Joint Commission-accredited organizations. AHA is a sponsor of the Joint Commission center.