IAHSS report on mitigating risk of violence in health care facilities

The International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety Foundation recently released a report to address strategies to prevent workplace violence in health care.

The report “Mitigating the Risk of Workplace Violence in Health Care Settings,” breaks down stressors and risk factors that can trigger disruptive and sometimes violent behavior. It also addresses recently passed regulations handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission that each require health care facilities to take action on violence prevention.

The report advocates for a multipronged strategy that details involvement of staff, establishing procedure and optimizing technology to create a culture of safety and security.

NFPA seeks comment on standard for waste handling systems

The National Fire Protection Association is accepting comments to NFPA 82: Standard on Incinerators and Waste and Linen Handling Systems and Equipment.

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) recently communicated with its members that, “Although waste-handling systems and linen-chute standards might not be on the top list of standards ASHE members reference every day … the technology has changed significantly over the past decade, and the standard may have not yet caught up.”

Comments are due by Nov. 16.

Joint Commission launches Phase 4 of EP review project

The Joint Commission recently began Phase 4 of its EP (Element of Performance) Review Project, which involves streamlining Joint Commission standards for all accreditation programs by consolidating existing requirements. Revisions resulting from the first part of Phase 4 become effective Jan. 1.

In Phase 4, EPs across all accreditation programs are being evaluated for streamlining and consolidation in groups of chapters, including its Infection Prevention and Control chapters.

Health care risk-management group highlights patient safety do’s and don’ts

The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management recently posted a list of do’s and don’ts to maintain patient safety in health care facilities.

Heidi Harrison, CPHRM, risk manager at Inova Health System and ASHRM board member, addressed a number of guidelines specific to nurses such as reassessing patients every shift for falls and elopement risk, and not to silence alarms that may seem to be a nuisance. “We need to know when there is a problem,” she writes.

Harrison also touched on issues related to facility management and engineering, including avoiding the temptation to “haphazardly piecemeal equipment together. Take it out of service if a device is not functioning correctly,” she writes.

FDA seeks to reclassify certain medical devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking to reclassify six medical devices.

The federal agency issued a proposed order to reclassify needle-destruction devices and rename them sharps needle-destruction devices. It also wants to reclassify these types of devices from Class III to Class II, which will reduce regulatory burdens on manufacturers since Class II devices are not required to submit a premarket approval application, but instead can submit a less burdensome premarket notification (510(k) before marketing their device.

The FDA also wants to reclassify five medical devices from Class II to Class I, including the category of endoscopic maintenance systems. If reclassified, the devices no longer would require premarket notification under section 510(k). The other medical devices fall under the categories of: total 25-hydroxyvitamin D mass spectrometry test system; genetic health risk assessment system; purifier, water, ultraviolet, medical; vibrator for therapeutic use, genital.