'You can't go to Menard's': The Joint Commission's engineering director tackles survey topics

At the AAMI Annual Conference & Expo June 4, The Joint Commission's senior associate director of engineering Kenneth Monroe discussed the survey process, standards development and emergency management preparedness.

Here are four takeaways:

1. To manage medical equipment, providers can either follow the manufacturer's recommendations or develop written criteria for an alternative equipment maintenance program. A 100 percent completion rate is required for all scheduled maintenance activities for non–high-risk medical equipment in an AEM program, but it can be done at a frequency determined through research or past experience.

2. Document what will be done in the event a piece of equipment is on a patient during a survey. If equipment can't be found, "you can say you've done it, you've looked for it, and it's not there," and it still counts as being complete, Mr. Monroe said.

3. Power strips used in a patient care vicinity must meet the UL 1393A or UL 60601-1 standards. In a patient care room that's outside a patient care vicinity, power strips must meet UL 1363 standards. Power strips in non-patient care rooms must meet other UL standards.

"It's important that you look for those UL labels," Mr. Monroe said. "You can't go to Menard's and buy a $1.99 extension cord. This is a serious piece of work."

4. All Health Delivery Organizations must have a library of service manuals, instruction manuals, maintenance manuals, technical bulletins and "specification information and other information for the inspection, testing and maintenance of equipment and systems."

The Environment of Care Committee can help identify which documents are required, which ones enhance understanding and which are beneficial but not required.

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