Joint Commission continues revisions to align with NFPA life safety and health care codes

The Joint Commission continues to roll out revisions to its Life Safety and Environment of Care chapters to align with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Life Safety and Health Care Facilities codes. The Joint Commission announced last year it would make revisions to its Elements of Performance in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' adoption of the 2012 editions of the codes.

The additional revisions include new, revised and relocated Elements of Performance that address the following topics and more:

  • Testing of emergency lighting systems
  • Inspection and testing of piped medical gas and vacuum systems
  • Updating pertinent NFPA code numbering in references
  • Adding more specificity to existing elements of performance

Ransomware attack hits some U.S. hospitals

A new and evolving cyberattack using a variant of ransomware has hit some hospitals and a pharmaceutical company in the United States, as well as businesses in Ukraine, India, France, Russia and Spain, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) reports. HHS advises organizations to be vigilant and ensure that their system patches and anti-virus definitions are up to date, among other actions. The American Hospital Association is closely monitoring the situation and providing information on the ransomware attack, as well as cybersecurity resources.

HHS releases playbook on transporting patients with infectious disease

The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response's new EMS Infectious Disease Playbook brings together best practices and resources for safe transport of patients with infectious disease.  

The playbook reviews standard precautions, as well as precautions for avoiding disease contracted via direct contact, air and droplets. It also outlines special precautions to protect against respiratory disease, Ebola and viral hemorrhagic fevers.

NFPA developing new standard for active-shooter events

The National Fire Protection Association is developing a new standard to help facilities prepare and mitigate active-shooter events. NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events is expected to be completed early next year, after which the public will have an opportunity to provide input.