CDC releases toolkit on preventing Legionella

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a toolkit on “Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth and Spread in Buildings.” Designed to provide an easy-to-understand interpretation of ASHRAE Standard 188, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, the toolkit explains which buildings and devices need a Legionella water management program, what makes a good program and how to develop it. The toolkit also highlights special considerations for health care facilities.

CMS issues guidance on emergency preparedness

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently added a new appendix to its Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers. The appendix contains interpretive guidelines and survey procedures and applies to all 17 providers and suppliers included in the final rule.

Joint Commission issues LSC and EC clarifications

The Joint Commission recently issued clarifications for four Life Safety and Environment of Care Elements of Performance in its online newsletter. The clarifications were issued to help accredited health care organizations comply with the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code requirements. The clarifications reference emergency department occupancy classification, annual door inspections, installing and maintaining fire doors, and conducting fire drills.

AHA urges FCC to increase telehealth investment

The American Hospital Association (AHA) submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) encouraging it to increase the commission’s Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) as part of its Rural Health Care Program. The HCF was designed to expand access to broadband services among health care organizations — especially those in rural areas — and to encourage the formation of state and regional broadband networks linking health care providers. Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president of public policy analysis and development, wrote to the FCC, “With modest changes to the HCF, the FCC can incent greater participation and further expansion of broadband.”

CDC investigates MDR fungus found in facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated findings of its investigation into cases of the multidrug-resistant fungus Candida auris. The CDC states that as of May 12, a total of 77 U.S. clinical cases of C. auris had been reported to the CDC from seven states. Nearly all patients had multiple underlying medical conditions and extensive health care facility exposure. The CDC has worked with state and local partners to develop and share infection control recommendations to help curb the spread, including housing the patient in a private room, and daily and terminal cleaning of a patient’s room.

ECRI releases guidance on device ransomware

ECRI Institute released a new guidance article, “Ransomware Attacks: How to Protect Your Medical Device Systems.” The report provides recommendations for adapting general cybersecurity principles to the particular requirements of medical device systems, including a list of immediate do’s and don’ts for responding quickly to emerging threats.