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Healthcare Cybersecurity Addressing the Immediate Issue Today

by Tim Richards on July 11, 2018
Tim Richards

healthcare-cybersecurity

Healthcare facilities are not without risk when it comes to cyber attacks. Theft of medical records is so common, that by 2024 (if online theft keeps accelerating at the current pace),"everyone in the U.S. will have had their healthcare data compromised."

Threats will only continue to increase in volume and in sophistication. Securing healthcare data is a top priority. As a healthcare facility manager, knowing the ins and outs of healthcare cybersecurity will leave your facility less vulnerable to attacks. 

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11 Tips to Improve Patient Flow That Will Impact Efficiency

by Tim Richards on June 07, 2018
Tim Richards

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Efficient patient flow will increase your healthcare facilities revenue and more importantly keep your patients satisfied and safer.

Failing to achieve the right care, at the right time, puts your facility at an operational efficiency deficit. Which in turn places your patients at risk for less than optimum care and potential harm.

"Achieving hospital-wide patient flow, and ultimately improving outcomes and the experience of care for patients, requires an appreciation of the hospital as an interconnected, interdependent system of care. It also requires strong leadership; in fact, the role of executive leaders is critical for success." [Source: Rutherford PA, Provost LP, Kotagal UR, Luther K, Anderson A. Achieving Hospital-wide Patient Flow. IHI White Paper. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Institute for Healthcare Improvement; 2017. (Available at www.ihi.org)

If you're convinced that improved hospital-wide patient flow is good for operational efficiency, make sure to include these 11 guidelines for ensuring better patient flow. 

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Big Data Healthcare Trends Will Improve Outcomes (Infographic)

by Tim Richards on May 03, 2018
Tim Richards

Big data healthcare trends

Improved technology will play a pivotal role in the collection and analysis of big data for healthcare facilities. Healthcare providers will have access to large data sets to help improve their patients' overall well being.

What can these large amounts of data actually do?

In terms of healthcare, it could range from improved electronic medical records, enhance quality of life, better patient care and experience, to predicting specific epidemics.

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Medical Gas Systems Installation You Need to Know for Safety

by Jason Di Marco on April 05, 2018
Jason Di Marco

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Medical gas systems in healthcare facilities and hospitals are lifesaving and a critical element of patient care. One of the demanding responsibilities of a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager is to ensure their facility remains compliant with regard to the use of medical gases.

Compliance requires that all repair, maintenance and inspections are conducted by accredited personnel, usually a third party specializing in medical compliance. 

Because these gases are so vital, proper installation is of the utmost importance. 

In dealing with these critical gases, there are specific questions and materials to be used for the safety of your patients and healthcare facility before installation. (The article does not cover all requirements of NFPA 99 and should not replace the official NFPA 99 Healthcare Facilities Code.)

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Topics: Installation

Helping Hospitals Prepare for Joint Commission Survey in 2018

by Jason Di Marco on March 08, 2018
Jason Di Marco

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Patients come to hospitals to be healed and cured. It goes without saying they expect to be kept safe while they’re there. A critical lynchpin to this safety and security is the consistent, dedicated monitoring and testing of a healthcare facility’s medical gas systems. At every point, an incident could conceivably occur–from source equipment to patient rooms.

Because of this, medical gas systems are a point of emphasis by the Joint Commission, and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Past hazards and incidents have warranted this increased level of scrutiny. In fact, Environment of Care Standard 02.05.09 has now been expanded to 14 Elements of Performance (EP's) in 2018. Without clean, contaminant-free medical gases, operational alarm panels and maintained functional source equipment, even the most prudent healthcare facilities may find themselves in violation of code compliance. Or worse, in a situation where the safety of patients is in the balance.

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Topics: Medical Gas Compliance

2018 Healthcare Engineering Conferences Worth Attending

by Jason Di Marco on February 15, 2018
Jason Di Marco

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2018 is already flying by and we need to stay in touch with the latest regulations and technology to serve our hospitals and patients. That means attending some of the nation’s best recognized healthcare conferences and expos.

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Topics: Medical Gas Compliance

Analysis of Your Medical Vacuum System You Need to Know

by Jason Di Marco on January 11, 2018
Jason Di Marco

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While the Joint Commission (JC), and the CMS keep us on our toes with current standards and recommendations they continually roll out, one thing has stayed consistent for healthcare facility managers looking to keep their patients safe:

The need for quality suction equipment...specifically a medical vacuum system.

Suctioning is a critical part of patient care and in some instances, a potentially life-saving procedure. While the vacuum you create in the pump room makes surgery faster, safer, cleaner, helps patients breath more easily and operates equipment, vacuum systems like the compressed medical gas systems need regular care.

Before we talk about the various kinds of vacuum pumps and their inspection requirements we need to consider the biggest challenge most hospitals run into with vacuum systems, that is: what they suck up. The entire piped system is designed to pull just air out of the way, but often drags with it fluids, solids and aerosols that all want to stick to the piping, parts and the pumps internals.

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Medical Gas Systems: The Definitive Guide

by Jason Di Marco on December 14, 2017
Jason Di Marco

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Most people think of the medical gas system as oxygen that is pumped to patients in surgery or in their hospital room. In fact, there are several gases that make up the average medical gas system including the anesthesia gases that are part of the cart in the operating room.

Medical gas systems sustain life and are regulated as a drug. This means multiple layers of restrictions and instruction on the proper, safe and legal way to do things.

According to CBC News, the first recorded medical gas cross connection deaths were at a former Sudbury General Hospital in Canada back in 1973. The outcome of this tragic event was the evolution of a code requiring 3rd party verification and later installer certifications.

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How to Handle Medical Gas Alarm Management

by Ryan Barnes on November 30, 2017
Ryan Barnes

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Do you have a process for safe alarm management and response?

As healthcare facility managers, you need to inspect, check and maintain alarm-equipped devices. In 2016, The Joint Commission issued, Hospital Patient Safety Goals, with the focus on problems in healthcare and how to solve them.

One being...

Use alarms safely, NPSG.06.01.01 -- make improvements to ensure that alarms on medical equipment are heard and responded to on time. 

Alarms also monitor source equipment, areas or zones and more. At every step from source to patient, there are alarms to warn of medical gases being delivered or malfunctions or gas leaks from a damaged system.

This article will examine all aspects of alarms and its respective triggers (pertaining to medical gas), first response actions, best practices, troubleshooting tips, false alarm situations and how to prevent them. 

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Patient Safety Challenges (and How to Actually Solve Them)

by Jason Di Marco on November 02, 2017
Jason Di Marco

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Do you want to improve patient safety in your healthcare organization? 

The smallest improvement may provide a large impact to patient safety. As a hospital leader or healthcare facility manager, you are the one held accountable for effective care while maintaining a safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors.

There are WAY too many obstacles that could stand in your way with all the moving parts that make up a healthy, thriving healthcare environment.

You could say, "anyone that touches a patient or anything that touches the patient must wash their hands". Certainly it would help to improve patient safety, and it'd be a start. Hand washing should become an educational priority.

If only it were that easy...

You need to be very systematic with your approach and how you implement patient safety in a healthcare environment.

Today, I'm going to show you 9 ways that almost guarantees your facilities will run  more effectively, and first and foremost safer.

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