Joint Commission emergency management update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ final rule on emergency preparedness took effect Nov. 15. The Joint Commission states that the updated standards will help care organizations more effectively plan for disasters and coordinate with federal, state, tribal, regional and local emergency preparedness systems. The standards apply to surveys for hospital, critical access hospital, ambulatory, home health and hospice settings. Enhanced requirements also apply to rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to support the consistency of implementation across ambulatory settings.

ASHE comments on Legionella requirements

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) submitted comments to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stating that additional regulatory requirements to prevent Legionella are not needed for health care facilities. Jonathan Flannery, MHSA, CHFM, FASHE, FACHE, senior associate director of advocacy at ASHE, wrote on behalf of the organization in response to the CDC’s request for information on developing effective water-management programs to reduce Legionella. Flannery wrote that health care facilities already address the issue through existing federal regulations. ASHE’s full comments are available in the Federal Register.

IAHSS report on mitigating risk of facility violence

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 recent regulations handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission that each require 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.

AAP issues infection advice for pediatric settings

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its 2007 statement, “Infection Prevention and Control in Pediatric Ambulatory Settings,” to reflect changes and insights learned over the past decade. The document includes a number of clinical recommendations to limit disease transmission. It also includes environmental precautions, such as designing waiting areas to prevent overcrowding, shorten wait times and minimize the sharing of toys, and properly disposing of medical waste, including dressings, needles, sharps and bodily fluid samples.

Joint Commission advice on suicide prevention

The Joint Commission issued guidance to help hospitals and surveyors determine what constitutes adequate environmental safeguards to protect patients with suicidal ideation. The Joint Commission brought together a panel including representatives from provider organizations and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to develop guidance that addresses the most contentious issues related to hazards in inpatient psychiatric units, medical-surgical inpatient settings and emergency departments.