Following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ban on powdered gloves that went into effect in January, the Joint Commission says it will now evaluate organizations for compliance of the new rule.

The FDA concluded that powdered gloves used by surgeons and for patient exams, as well as absorbable powder for lubricating surgical gloves “present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury and that the risk cannot be corrected or eliminated by labeling or a change in labeling.”

Adverse reactions listed by the FDA include: inflammation, granulomas, respiratory allergic reactions, adverse reactions to natural rubber latex allergens and surgical complications related to peritoneal adhesions.

The Joint Commission will survey organizations for evaluation under its Leadership 04.01.01 element of performance, which requires organizations to “provide care, treatment and services in accordance with licensure requirements, laws and rules and regulation.” The FDA has given recommendations for disposal of the banned products; however, the Joint Commission will not evaluate disposal processes.

ASHE Energy and Water Survey deadline extended

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) has extended the deadline for its Energy and Water Survey to April 28. The data will be anonymously shared with the Environmental Protection Agency, which will help the agency to update ENERGY STAR scoring models in addition to identifying energy and water use trends.

The survey’s three major goals are to:

  • Update the ENERGY STAR 1–100 score models for both general medical and surgical hospitals and medical office buildings
  • Expand to new ENERGY STAR 1–100 score models for other health care space types
  • Evaluate the potential to develop a 1–100 score for water efficiency

ASHE will provide 0.2 continuing education units (CEUs) — equal to two contact hours — per complete survey toward renewal of Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager, Certified Healthcare Constructor, or any other certification. Participants can earn a maximum of 1.0 CEUs (10 contact hours) per person.

The organization encourages all health care organizations to participate, as a large response rate is critical to gathering sufficient data to update the ENERGY STAR scoring models. ASHE randomly will select one survey participant from each ASHE region to win a $250 Amazon gift card to encourage participation.

Joint Commission further revises life safety requirements

The Joint Commission has made revisions to requirements in the Environment of Care and Life Safety chapters in its comprehensive accreditation manuals for ambulatory, critical access, hospital, home care and nursing care center programs. The changes will go into effect July 1.

The revisions were made to more closely align with the 2012 editions of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Life Safety and Health Care Facilities codes. The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopted the 2012 editions of NFPA 99 and NFPA 101 last year.

APIC survey details state of infection prevention profession

The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) has published results of its MegaSurvey, which surveyed 4,078 infection preventionists (IP) in mid- to late 2015. The largest-ever survey of the infection prevention workforce, describes the core activities and competencies of infection preventionists (IPs). The first in a series of articles based on the survey findings was published recently in the American Journal of Infection Control.

APIC states that the survey was designed to provide a baseline of data to answer critical questions related to practice and competencies, organizational structure and staffing, compensation, and the demographics of IPs.

Some key findings include:

  • The majority of respondents (81 percent) have a primary discipline of nursing.
  • Two-thirds of IPs (66.2 percent) currently work in acute care settings; the remainder work in long-term care, ambulatory, outpatient and other care settings.
  • Surveillance and investigation were reported as the most frequent activities by IPs, accounting for a quarter (25.4 percent) of infection prevention efforts.

FDA recalls Physio-Control defibrillator due to electrical problem

Physio-Control Inc. is recalling the LIFEPAK 15 Monitor/Defibrillator due to an electrical problem which may prevent the device from delivering the electrical shock needed to revive a patient in cardiac arrest. If the electrical shock is not delivered, the monitor will indicate “Abnormal Energy Delivery” on the display. A delay in delivering this therapy could result in serious patient injury such as permanent organ damage, brain injury or death.

The Food and Drug Administration has designated this a Class I Recall.