NFPA accepting comments on 101 and 99

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is seeking public input on the next editions of two key documents for health care facilities: NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, and NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code. NFPA 101 is the most widely used source for strategies to protect people based on building construction, protection and occupancy features that minimize the effects of fire and related hazards, while NFPA 99 establishes criteria for levels of health care services or systems based on risk to patients, staff or visitors in health care facilities to minimize the hazards of fire, explosion and electricity. Facilities professionals can submit comments online through June 27.

Hospitals and others share evacuation lessons

A recent newsletter from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response highlights evacuation stories from last year’s hurricanes and wildfires. Among other stories, Kaiser Permanente officials share their personal and professional experiences of evacuating a hospital in the midst of the California wildfires, and a Baptist Beaumont (Texas) Hospital official shares how staff worked to care for patients during Hurricane Harvey.

NFPA fast-tracks a new active-shooter standard

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is fast-tracking the development of a new standard to address active-shooter and other hostile events. The organization states that NFPA 3000, Standard for Preparedness and Response to Active Shooter and/or Hostile Events, is being developed as a provisional standard, which means it would be available for use as early as April 2018. This is only the second time the 121-year-old organization has granted provisional status to one of its standards.

AHA encourages rural broadband funding

The Federal Communications Commission should increase the funding cap for the Rural Health Care Program to at least account for inflation since the program began and at the rate of inflation moving forward, the American Hospital Association (AHA) told the agency in comments submitted last month. Commenting on potential changes to the program, which provides funding to help providers expand access to broadband telehealth services in rural and underserved areas, Ashley Thompson, senior vice president for public policy analysis and development, said: “Electronic health records, technology-based patient engagement strategies, health information sharing for coordinated care, and remote-monitoring technologies all require robust broadband connections.”

FGI announces release of 2018 Guidelines

The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) recently announced the release of the 2018 Guidelines for Design and Construction. For the 2018 edition of its minimum standards, FGI has expanded the series from two to three documents: the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals; the Guidelines for Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities, and the newest publication in the series, Guidelines for Design and Construction of Outpatient Facilities. Concurrent with the release of the 2018 Guidelines, the FGI is introducing a subscription-based Beyond Fundamentals library intended to augment the FGI Guidelines documents by expanding on the minimum design requirements.