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QUESTION: Through risk assessment and reviewing our key control practices, we identified the need to rekey our facilities. Has anyone developed a keying plan and control policy?

When rekeying facilities, it is critical to keep in mind that for every layer of keys you create, you increase the ease of picking the lock. The hardest lock to pick is one with only one combination or key. Every time you create a level of control (great grandmaster, grandmaster, master, submaster, area, etc.), you make it easier to pick. We use four levels and no one carries the grandmaster and no one person carries all four masters. We also keep the grand and high-security master in a double-locked cabinet that takes two different keys carried by two different people or departments to open.

QUESTION: On a hospital generator run with load, is an exhaust-temperature, laser-gun reading required?

According to The Joint Commission Standard EC.02.05.07, EP 6, you would only need to verify and document that the exhaust gas is meeting the manufacturer’s recommended prime movers temperature if you are not meeting the 30 percent minimal nameplate load rating for your particular generator. It’s basically an either/or condition, so you don’t have to do both. However, I would suggest that for the purposes of record-keeping, you always document the load rating achieved during your monthly test runs. If you can’t prove you are able to do either, that is where the annual load bank test needs to come in.

QUESTION: We are looking for alternatives to integral blinds for windows between intensive care unit rooms and the corridor. Does anybody have experience with switchable electric privacy glass?

We started using it in 2005 with good results and recently completed a new building using it in all patient rooms. It has proven to be reliable.

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