ASHE recommendations on COVID-19 

The American Society for Health Care Engineering has identified specific recommendations that health care facilities managers should consider in light of COVID-19. The recommendations include reviewing patient entrance and flow patterns throughout the facility; evaluating accuracy of space pressure relationships, especially airborne infection isolation rooms; reviewing emergency management plans, especially in relation to surge capacity issues; reviewing security plans, especially related to surge and patient presentation; and devising contingency plans for a possible occurrence in which demand for isolation rooms exceeds capacity. 

IAHSS issues report on de-escalation training 

The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety Foundation’s newest report, “Mitigating Workplace Violence via De-escalation Training,” details the various factors contributing to the growth of de-escalation methods being used in hospitals. The report discusses the health care departments most at risk for patient aggression such as emergency departments, behavioral health settings, geriatric care units and intensive care units. It also lays out validated de-escalation frameworks, which develop a structure for how to assess aggression, use mitigating techniques to limit the possibility of aggressive action and intervene during a violent episode. 

FDA alerts providers to infusion pump danger

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early March reported 55 injuries and one death involving an infusion pump and vital signs monitoring system. Becton Dickinson CareFusion 303 Inc. recalled the Alaris Infusion Pump System and Modules in February due to software and other errors that can delay, speed or interrupt the infusion of medications and other fluids to patients. According to the FDA, consumers should follow the manufacturer’s recommended actions to help mitigate the potential risk of errors until the software issues have been remediated. Health care providers may report associated adverse reactions or quality problems to the FDA’s MedWatch reporting program. 

ASHE alerts field to proposed energy target penalties

Proposed fees and penalties related to hospital energy use are currently being adopted by state and local jurisdictions. However, the energy targets may not be realistic or attainable, according to the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE). For instance, Washington state passed legislation that places a penalty of up to $5,000 plus $1 per gross square foot of floor area per year for noncompliant buildings. Noncompliant buildings are required to complete an energy audit identifying energy efficiency measures and to implement those measures to bring the building into compliance. To help calculate and advocate for correct energy targets, ASHE encourages every U.S. hospital to benchmark data in its Energy to Care program.