ASHE celebrates victories at ICC meeting 

The International Code Council (ICC) Committee on Healthcare (CHC), which is a joint effort created by the American Society for Health Care Engineering and ICC, held meetings to vote on 17 code change proposals to better align the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requirements. CHC members testified before the IEBC committee regarding these 17 proposals in addition to 24 other proposals that impacted health care facilities. The IEBC committee approved 14 of the 17 proposals as submitted and the remaining three as modified by the CHC. Additionally, 21 of the other 24 proposals were finalized in a manner in favor of the CHC’s efforts.

IAHSS announces new guideline

The International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety released a new industry guideline titled “Duress and Panic Alarms and Response” under the category of “Systems.” The guideline addresses using duress and panic alarm systems as an additional layer of protection within the health care environment. It also discusses implementation of duress and panic alarm systems to ensure they operate within their defined purpose with consideration for location, activation, response, system maintenance and testing.

DHS releases active shooter response resources

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released a new resource to help hospitals and health systems prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident. Among other areas, the action guide includes DHS recommendations for what staff should do if there is an active shooter and information on mitigation strategies and protective measures. It addresses considerations for planning for patients that require the greatest allocation of resources, as well as the unique characteristics within the hospital and health care environment.

OSHA requests comments on LOTO standard

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is requesting information on a possible update to the Control of Hazardous Energy, also known as the Lockout/Tagout standard. The agency is interested in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as the evolving technology for robotics. OSHA is requesting information about how employers have been using control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used; limitations of their use; new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy; and whether the agency should consider changes to the standard that would address these new risks. 

Cyber vulnerability in older Windows versions

Microsoft released security updates to fix a critical vulnerability in older versions of its Windows operating system, which, the company said, any future malware could exploit remotely as a worm to spread from computer to computer, similar to the spread of WannaCry malware in 2017. The vulnerability also has implications for certain medical devices, which may still be running older versions of Windows. Customers running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008 with automatic updates enabled are protected, while others running these versions may download the security updates.