Medical Gas Compliance Blog

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Sentinel Events: Understanding, Preventing and Hospital Response

by Tim Richards on March 21, 2022
Tim Richards

sentinelEvents

Sentinel events occur when a patient is seriously injured (permanently or temporary) or causes death, happening outside the predictable course of the patient’s disease process.

Sentinel events are debilitating to both patients and healthcare providers involved in the event. The Joint Commission works closely with organizations to address sentinel events and to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

CHT is a national leader providing support to healthcare facilities in identifying and developing compliance programs regarding their medical gas needs and environmental monitoring to protect patients and employees. We understand the contributing factors and actions facilities can take to reduce the risk of these events.

Based on our experience, we thought we would address sentinel events with examples, statistics, and a 5-step process of what to do when and if a sentinel event occurs in your facility.

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Temporary Hospital Isolation Rooms to Control Outbreaks of Infectious Disease

by Tim Richards on January 13, 2022
Tim Richards

Temporary Hospital Isolation Rooms

The number of hospital airborne infection isolation rooms is limited. An outbreak of infectious disease produces a demand for a large number of rooms. 

The past year and a half have highlighted navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare facility managers have come to terms with the extreme realization of the critical importance of medical gas systems, the effects of increased demand on the hospital infrastructure, and the need for more hospital isolation rooms and negative pressure rooms. 

As a result of pushing the facilities beyond their limits, additional considerations are acknowledged, and now more than ever, the need to address the management of infectious disease is at the forefront.

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5 Common Medical Gases Used in Hospitals

by Tim Richards on December 08, 2021
Tim Richards

fiveCommonMedicalGasses

Medical gas is critical to the function of hospitals and many other healthcare facilities. Knowing the most common types of gases, understanding how each is used, and then maintaining your systems for each gas will ensure your facility's success.

At CHT, we understand it's essential to keep your medical gas running smoothly, so you have no unexpected failures, and you have the proper equipment to do your job competently and worry-free. 

In this article, we discuss five types of medical gas used in hospitals: 

  1. Medical Air - Used in the ICU and NICU areas, medical air is supplied by a specific air compressor to patient care areas.
  2. Oxygen - Oxygen is medical gas required in every healthcare setting and is used for resuscitation and inhalation therapy. 
  3. Carbon Dioxide - Used for less invasive surgeries
  4. Nitrogen - A medical support gas primarily used for powering surgical tools and other equipment.
  5. Nitrous Oxide -  A medical gas is used in numerous surgical procedures as both an anesthetic and analgesic.

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Topics: Medical Gas Compliance

On-site Responsible Facility Authority to Oversee Critical Systems

by Tim Richards on October 29, 2021
Tim Richards

On site Responsible Facility Authority

Is your healthcare facility ready to designate an individual or individuals as the main RFA (Responsible Facility Authority)?

The Responsible Facility Authority is responsible for implementation of the piped medical gas and vacuum system requirements in NFPA 99.

While the term Responsible Facility Authority has been in the code since 2012 and before, the individual’s responsibilities and qualifications were not clearly defined. Rather, the role required the acting person(s) to receive all the documentation from verifiers and inspectors testing the medical gas system. Their job was to accept the validity of the reports and keep them on file.

In 2021 and on, clearer responsibilities are being added. The latest requirements will expect more from the RFA with full accountability for ensuring the medical gas systems are safe for patient use.

At CHT, we support facility managers to reach their compliance goals. We want you to meet your regulatory requirements, correct any deficiencies easily, and reduce downtime. This article covers defining the RFA position today and moving forward. 


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Cloud Based Electronic Documentation for Healthcare Facilities (What You Need to Know)

by Tim Richards on September 16, 2021
Tim Richards

Cloud Based Documentation-1

As healthcare facility managers, you have to leverage real-time data to make informed decisions to ensure compliance and become more impactful leaders.

But the problem lies in when you have to pull stacks of paper which is (was) the standard method when showing compliance for a medical gas systems program.

One can see how this paper-based process is an invitation for inefficiency, lost time, and potential error. Nowhere is this more likely than in multi-site healthcare systems, with facilities spread across a city or even a broad geographic region.

Traditional testing, with its reams of paper, has proved insufficient. It’s a slow, tedious process overflowing with potential for mistakes and inconsistency.

Read what K2 Enterprises and the International Data Corporation (IDC) say about paper statistics, especially in the healthcare industry...

Statistics reveal that the number of pages consumed in U.S. offices is increasing at a startling rate of 20% per year (K2 Enterprises). Additional research indicates that the healthcare industry spends twice as much time with paper than any other industry (IDC). [source: Shocking paper statistics you didn't know about and why it could cost you money]

At CHT, we believe every second counts, and you shouldn’t waste time managing your documentation. We want your medical gas management automated, accessible anywhere or anytime, so you can make those critical decisions.

If you want to ditch the outdated binder system, get instant reporting visibility, save money on repairs, and make data-driven decisions faster...

Keep reading.

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Managing Hospital Ventilation to Achieve HVAC System Compliance

by Tim Richards on July 22, 2021
Tim Richards

ManagingHospitalVentilationToAchieveHVACSystemCompliance

In healthcare facilities, ventilation goes way beyond whether you're just hot or cold. A ventilation system proves to effectively reduce hospital infections, maintain indoor air quality while following specific Standards.

For example, ventilation rates are defined in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1and Standard 170. The design and installation of utilities to meet patient care and operational needs are critical. Implementing strategies to manage the ventilation and HVAC systems keeps patients, visitors, and employees safe.

In the last eighteen months, we have evolved from a pre-pandemic state to a chaotic pandemic environment to our typical balanced approach to ventilation control. CHT provides pressure and airflow tests with documentation as part of your Vitaleyez™ program profile that satisfies the codes. As healthcare facility managers, you have to ensure compliance, become a more impactful facility leader, and leverage real-time data to make informed decisions. 

This article discusses hospital ventilation airflow with planned steps to increase your HVAC system compliance and to develop a ventilation management program (VMP) for your healthcare facility.

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Airflow Ventilation: What's New for Hospital Airflow? (ASHRAE Standard 170-2021)

by Tim Richards on June 17, 2021
Tim Richards

heroAirflowVentilation1

The ASHRAE Standard 170 has been guiding ventilation requirements for the healthcare industry facilities for over a decade.  

I think you'll agree the core elements of Standard 170 for infection control have risen to the occasion and weathered the storm the past year with the coronavirus scenario. 

In healthcare facilities, ventilation goes way beyond comfort. Air handling and distribution systems will help control the transmission of airborne infections and have the ability to reduce hospital infections overall.

Bottom line:

A ventilation system proves effective at reducing hospital infections.

HVAC systems are built to keep the indoor air quality (IAQ) safe for patients. Because of the airflow standards, equipment must meet high ventilation rates and filtration requirements. Healthcare facilities serve a critical service, and they must consider several factors to provide adequate public health. Among the concerns for health care facilities is airflow ventilation.

CHT provides pressure and airflow tests with documentation as part of your Vitaleyez program profile that satisfies the code. As healthcare facility managers, you have to leverage real-time data to make informed decisions. This article discusses the importance of air quality and hospital airflow and the changes to ASHRAE Standard 170-2021.

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17 Tips to Improve Patient Flow That Will Impact Efficiency (New Updates)

by Tim Richards on May 12, 2021
Tim Richards

17-tips

What is Patient Flow?

Patient flow is the moving of patients within your healthcare facility. It involves medical care, resources, decision-making, and internal systems in place. Optimizing patient flow is critical for healthcare facilities for two main reasons, patient safety and quality of care.

It's fair to say that 2020 and the pandemic will go down in the history books. 

And if the pandemic taught us anything,

"It is within our power to create a health system that invites everyone to be part of an affordable, sustainable, accessible, high-quality system that keeps people healthy and improves our communities and society at large.", cites Laura S. Kaiser, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer for SSM Health [source] "Transforming an Industry that Treats Illness to Instead Create Health."

As a medical gas systems provider, CHT agrees that we collectively have the power to address patient health and safety and address patient flow in hospitals. Improving your patient flow is a way to increase revenue and patient satisfaction.

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2021 Healthcare Engineering Conferences Worth Attending

by Tim Richards on April 15, 2021
Tim Richards

2021-healthcare-engineering-conferences

COVID-19 has drastically impacted our world and the healthcare industry, whether for prevention, diagnosis, or therapy. It has led to our behavior changes - wearing a mask, hand washing, and safe distancing.

With social distancing requirements in place, the need for virtual conferences to stay in touch with the latest regulations and technology to serve our hospitals and patients became apparent.

This is an especially important time to reach leaders, strengthen relationships, and network since many hospitals and facilities are undergoing major projects and responding to shifts in the health care climate.

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Topics: Medical Gas Compliance

NFPA 99 Medical Gas for Healthcare Facilities [2021 code]

by Tim Richards on February 23, 2021
Tim Richards

NFPA

As with most healthcare aspects, medical gas systems continue to evolve to provide a safer, more effective patient experience. NFPA 99 Health Care Facilities Code is no exception, and the 2021 edition has some noteworthy changes and additions with which facility managers should be aware.

What is the NFPA 99 2021 code?

The 2021 (NFPA 99) National Fire Protection Association is the healthcare facilities code that establishes criteria for levels of healthcare services or systems based on risk to patients, staff, or visitors. It delivers the foundation for building risk-based performance criteria for the healthcare facility's environment.  

This most recent edition was published in October of 2020. While there is no current indication the 2021 edition will be adopted by CMS, some of the updates highlight the importance of qualified individuals managing and maintaining medical gas systems.

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