The Joint Commission pushes violence prevention 

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, new and revised workplace violence prevention requirements will be applicable to all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals. The new and revised requirements provide a framework to guide hospitals and critical access hospitals in developing strong workplace violence prevention systems and address the following concepts: defining workplace violence, including a formal definition located in the glossary; leadership oversight; worksite analysis; developing policies and procedures for the prevention of workplace violence; and more. 

CMS may grant regulatory flexibility during surge 

In evaluating whether to temporarily suspend survey activities for hospitals with a COVID-19 surge, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) notified the American Hospital Association it will consider whether the hospital has notified the appropriate state public health agency and activated its emergency preparedness plan, and the hospital staff and resources dedicated to managing COVID-19. “Hospitals in these circumstances should notify their state survey agency as soon possible, who will then coordinate with their CMS location to consider a short-term, hospital-specific survey suspension,” CMS stated.

AHA, CDC partner on infection prevention training

The American Hospital Association Team Training has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Project Firstline collaborative to release free on-demand training to help hospitals and health systems integrate teamwork and communication principles to prevent and control infection into their normal workflow. The Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is evidence-based and can be used by anyone who wants to improve communication and teamwork in health care. 

Cyber vulnerability found in pneumatic tube system

Security platform provider Armis released a patch and mitigation steps to address nine critical vulnerabilities in the firmware for a pneumatic tube system used by more than 3,000 hospitals, primarily in North America. According to Armis, the firmware powers all current models of the Translogic pneumatic tube system station made by Swisslog Healthcare. John Riggi, American Hospital Association senior adviser for cybersecurity and risk, stated: “Although the mechanical principles of pneumatic tubes date back over 100 years, today’s pneumatic tubes for delivering medications, blood products and lab samples across multiple departments of a hospital are highly computerized and network-connected, making them highly efficient. However, the vulnerabilities identified make them susceptible to cyber or ransomware attack.”