As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the country and around the world, healthcare organizations can now pivot from frontline surge preparation and focus on futureproofing their facilities. While hospitals successfully implemented emergency facility upgrades and stopgap measures to meet pressing pandemic demands, now is the perfect time for healthcare leaders to take a more comprehensive approach to their utility infrastructure capacity and capabilities.
The hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)—sometimes referred to as the HazCom standard or “worker right-to-know”—remains one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) most frequently cited standards. The HazCom standard was the second most frequently cited workplace safety standard for fiscal year (FY) 2020, with 3,199 violations.
As hospitals anticipate a return to pre-pandemic operations, healthcare leaders seek to complete these projects as quickly and efficiently as possible, recognizing that a move into a new facility or renovated space provides an opportunity to assess patient care models, staffing levels, and workflow—and provides, in some instances, better infection control and cleaner environments.
On episode 26 of PSQH: The Podcast, Dr. Tom Schwieterman, vice president of clinical affairs and chief medical officer of Midmark, talks about how healthcare facility design can help improve patient safety.
Electrical and HVAC updates are of particular importance to support new technology, which typically requires additional power and generates additional heat. Other important renovations include installing wireless systems and components used for collecting data or interacting with electronic medical records. This article offers insights into the challenges, solutions, and key considerations addressing infrastructure challenges posed by smaller, targeted healthcare projects.
On episode 21 of PSQH: The Podcast, Steve Zimmerman, director of health care services for ServiceMaster Clean, talks about the important role that Environmental Services plays in healthcare facilities. This episode is sponsored by ServiceMaster Clean.
Earlier this year CMS cited hospitals for not following their own policies and failing to ensure environmental services personnel followed standard procedures for infection control during cleaning, including instances of cross-contamination of surfaces.
Cleaning and keeping a healthcare waiting room safe for patients is a difficult task, says Jennifer Cowel, RN, MHS, a former Joint Commission executive and CEO of Patton Healthcare Consulting. Many elements need to be considered: furniture, electrical outlets, sanitizer dispensers, toys, and high-touch objects. And unlike patient rooms, there’s no turnover time between people where the space can be cleaned or checked.
In a survey of nearly 200 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, respondents scored highest when asked about triage and basic first aid competence—43% provided a positive response, meaning they were familiar or very familiar with the topic.
If you are affiliated with a state, tribal, territorial or local government operation, or are a non-profit providing critical healthcare services in a declared disaster area, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a public assistance program ready to help.