AHA advises OSHA against workplace violence standard

The American Hospital Association (AHA) states that it supports disseminating research on effective practices to prevent workplace violence in the health care and social assistance sectors rather than adopting and requiring compliance with a one-size-fits-all standard, as proposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). AHA General Counsel Melinda Reid Hatton responded to OSHA’s request for information on the issue: “We believe that OSHA could do much to support the efforts of hospitals by encouraging and sponsoring continued research that identifies effective best practices for different workplace settings and circumstances and widely disseminating information about these proven effective best practices to the health care field.” Hatton says this would encourage organizations “to use a more effective, risk-based approach to addressing workplace violence while the establishment of a uniform workplace violence standard for the field guarantees that organizations will use a narrowly focused and thereby less effective compliance strategy in addressing the problem of workplace violence.”

Compliance challenges listed for psychiatric facilities

The Joint Commission listed in its Joint Commission Online newsletter the most frequently cited compliance challenges found among psychiatric facilities using its Survey Analysis for Evaluating Risk (SAFER) Matrix. Of the 11 standards listed, five are directly related to facility performance, such as EC.02.06.01, which deals with maintaining a safe, functional environment. Other standards that made the list include EC.02.03.03 and LS.02.01.10 which both deal with fire safety in hospitals.

NIST issues draft guidance on wireless infusion pumps

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has released draft guidance to help health care organizations to secure wireless infusion pumps. The guidance uses standards-based, commercially available technologies and best practices to help organizations strengthen the security of their wireless infusion pumps. NIST will accept comments on the draft guidance through July 7.

ASPR updates emergency preparedness resource

The Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response updated resources to help health care facilities to comply with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Emergency Preparedness Rule that went into effect last year. The resource addressed a number of updates, including responses to technical assistant requests.

ASHE updates fire safety evaluation tool to align with NFPA

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) has updated its Fire Safety Evaluation System for Healthcare Occupancies to help health care facilities to comply with the National Fire Protection Association's NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, standard for alternative compliance. The Life Safety Code allows for alternative compliance solutions for health care facilities, which can save costs and time under certain conditions. ASHE’s tool can help health care facilities to determine whether their level of fire safety is equivalent to that prescribed by NFPA 101.

NIOSH posts modules for sharps injuries and exposures

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released two new, free modules that hospitals can use to track sharps incidents, and blood and body fluid exposures among health care workers. The voluntary system collects existing injury data (e.g., date of injury or illness, location of incident, description of illness, days away from work and other data collected in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s logs) among health care personnel to help identify job titles at highest risk for injury in their own facility, to develop interventions for the safety and health of hospital staff and to objectively measure impact over time.