Joint Commission appoints new engineering director

The Joint Commission announced the appointment of Herman McKenzie, MBA, CHSP, to director of the department of engineering, Standards Interpretation Group. In his new role, McKenzie will lead standards interpretation and customer support activities relative to the Life Safety and Environment of Care standards. McKenzie joined The Joint Commission in 2017 as a staff engineer and, in January 2019, he was promoted to senior engineer. McKenzie rose to acting director of the department of engineering in February. He previously served in facilities management and biomedical engineering roles at several health care facilities in the Chicago area. 

ASHE encourages NFPA code participation

The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) is encouraging members to join the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and attend next year’s NFPA Conference & Expo. ASHE says the conference is an especially important event for those interested in health care codes and standards. At the June 2020 meeting, NFPA members will cast votes during the technical meeting portion of the program on proposed changes to both NFPA 99, Health Care Facilities Code, and NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®. Changes approved during the 2020 meeting will be incorporated into the 2021 editions of these codes.

ASHE addresses definition of high-efficiency filters

An article published recently by Joint Commission Resources in EC News, “Putting a Hold on Mold,” explains the dangers of mold in the health care environment and details several routine maintenance activities facilities professionals can use to help combat the issue. The article states that “Routine maintenance activities can help reduce mold levels in buildings or high-risk areas. These include installing high-efficiency filters, making sure those filters are properly installed and maintained, ensuring that room pressurization is correct, and keeping doors and windows closed.” The article, however, does not define the term “high-efficiency.” American Society for Health Care Engineering leaders encourage health care facilities professionals to adhere to ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2017, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities, in regard to air filter requirements.