CMS Requires Healthcare Facilities Comply with the 2012 Editions of NFPA 101 and NFPA 99

On May 4, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) adopted the 2012 editions of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 – Life Safety Code (LSC) and NFPA 99 – Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC) by final rule. [Read more…]

The Power Strip CMS Categorical Waiver and Its Requirements

PS-415-HGULTRA-FRONT-LThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a categorical waiver allowing the use of power strips in new and existing healthcare facility patient care rooms, if the provider/supplier is in compliance with all applicable 2012 Life Safety Code (LSC) power strip requirements and with all other 2000 LSC electrical system and equipment provisions.
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Compliance Made Easy… Remember S.T.R.I.P

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, power strips are a must in many healthcare settings, and it’s important to develop a plan that includes the proper application and installation of power strips throughout your facility. Some healthcare facilities are receiving fines of up to $100,000 for installation and application violations.

How do you prevent this from happening?… Just remember S.T.R.I.P.
1.    Strategy – Combine your knowledge and resources to develop a strategy that makes sense for your facility and your regulatory body (NFPA, The Joint Commission, OSHA, UL, Federal, State and Local Authorities with Jurisdiction – email us for a free Regulatory Cheat Sheet Guide). It is up to facilities to conduct a risk assessment and develop a policy and maintenance plan as they deem appropriate.
2.    Technology – Stay on top of new technology that provides a higher level of safety to staff and patients. There is quite a difference between power strip technology in a generic strip from the local big box store, and Medical-Grade Power Strips with single fault line protection.
3.    Regulations – Review codes and standards. Facilities need to make sure they follow code, and code bodies should begin to adopt new technology (Again email us for a free Regulatory Cheat Sheet Guide).
4.    Installation – Make sure you understand proper installation of power strips. To name a few no-no’s: daisy-chaining, overloading and channeling strips through doorways or walls are all improper forms of installation.
5.    Purpose – Understand the different applications and their associated UL code. There are different strips for different applications throughout a facility from patient rooms to mobile applications to administrative locations.

Feel free to comment or email our Healthcare/Medical Product Specialists for more information.

The Misuse of Power Strips in Healthcare Facilities

PS-415-HGULTRA-FRONT-L

Just the other day, a call came in from a hospital that didn’t understand why they needed to purchase medical-grade and hospital-grade power strips instead of generic $5 strips from a local big box store for their patient-care and non-patient areas. Because there is nothing in regulatory code that provides clear language to guide hospitals on the need and usage of safe, compliant power strips and other power products, most facilities are in the dark and the consequences can be catastrophic and expensive.

Here’s a typical scenario. A few months back, we conducted a compliance walk-through in a Midwestern healthcare facility. The objective was to look for and make note of non-compliant areas in regards to the technology and installation of power strips and other power protection systems. This started in the basement with the biomedical folks telling us that they didn’t use many power strips in the facility. We walked through less than 5% of the facility and found over 30 strips. They were found in patient rooms hooked up to TVs, computers, monitors, nurses’ stations both hidden and exposed, and on carts and IV poles. In the OR, power strips were on at least one third of the medical equipment.  Some non-compliant examples included: non-compliant, daisy-chained strips on a Da Vinci machine, office-grade UPS systems in the patient-care vicinity with a grounding wire but no consideration of leakage current, and power strips on IV poles with corrosion and dirty surge suppressors at the nurses stations.

The facility was shocked by how many power strips we sited and the misuse of them. The walk-through opened their eyes to the fact that power strips are a must in many circumstances, and that they need to develop a plan that includes both proper application and installation. Some healthcare facilities are receiving fines of up to $100,000 for installation and application violations. So if you’re a healthcare professional who can identify with this scenario, you should consider investing in compliant power strips for your facility.

Stay tuned for more information about how to avoid costly power usage fines in hospitals and other healthcare environments.