Safety

Weekly tip: A look at recent and upcoming life safety changes

Hospital Safety Insider, August 16, 2012

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During the 49th Annual Conference & Exhibition for the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) in San Antonio July, Dale Woodin, CHFM, FASHE, ASHE's executive director, expressed the industry's appreciation while introducing George Mills, MBA, FASHE, CEM, CHFM, director of engineering at The Joint Commission.

Mills began his annual update by describing the top surveyor findings in 2011 for the Life Safety and Environment of Care areas. The most cited standard this year was LS.02.01.20 (cited on 56% of all surveys).

"If the corridor looks cluttered, it probably is," said Mills. "We can learn a lot from the horrific events that St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin, Missouri, went through last year with the tornado that hit their facility. A couple of months prior to the tornado, they conducted some aggressive evacuation exercises and identified a couple of areas of improvement, one of which was corridor clutter. When the tornado actually hit the facility, they evacuated 183 patients, plus visitors, plus staff from the building in less than 90 minutes. The lessons they learned in their exercises led them to remove clutter from their corridors, which allowed them to evacuate so quickly. The lesson we need to learn from this event is clear corridors save lives."

This tip was excerpted from the September issue of Healthcare Life Safety Compliance. Subscribers can read the tip in its entirety here.



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