Greeley Reflections

Accreditation Connection, February 1, 2010

Risk assessments for unclear standards

Part 3 of 4

To help refresh your memory, let's walk through the blanket warmer sample again.

Section 1—Issue: Hospitals have been frequently cited related to blanket warming temperatures raising a series of questions. Should there be a maximum temperature? Who should monitor the temperature?

Section 2—Regulations: You'll note that there is no regulation that sets a maximum temperature for blanket warmers.

Section 3—Literature: ECRI recommends a maximum temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, but does not support this recommendation with data. Other literature with better data suggests that higher temperatures are safe and desirable.

Section 4—Internal Information: In this example we indicate a lack of relevant incidents and a tie in with patient care and satisfaction.

Next week, we'll continue with Sections 5 through 7.

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