The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its requirement that says CMS-participating facilities must develop and adhere to policies designed to reduce Legionella risk. CMS says the rule applies to hospitals, critical access hospitals and long-term care facilities. The memo states that surveyors will review policies, procedures and reports documenting water-management implementation to verify that facilities are conducting risk assessments; implementing a water-management program that considers standards from ASHRAE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and specifying testing protocols and control measures.
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’s) Life Safety and Health Care Facilities codes. The organization stated last year that 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 testing of emergency lighting systems, inspection and testing of piped medical gas and vacuum systems and updating pertinent NFPA code numbering in references, among other things.
The Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s new EMS Infectious Disease Playbook brings together best practices and resources for safe transport of patients with infectious disease by emergency medical services. The playbook reviews standard precautions as well as some special situations.
Thirty-seven percent of the heater-cooler devices assessed by researchers between July 2015 and December 2016 tested positive for Mycobacterium chimaera. Results of the research were presented at the 44th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously issued safety warnings regarding heater-cooler devices, which are used during open-heart surgery.
The Facility Guidelines Institute issued an updated errata sheet to its 2010 Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities regarding return-air systems. The errata clarifies the intent of sections 2.1-126.96.36.199 and 3.1-188.8.131.52, which required fully ducted returns in all patient care areas in hospitals and outpatient facilities. A Guidelines user pointed out conflicts between the section and ASHRAE 170, which only requires fully ducted returns in spaces with pressure requirements.