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Patton Healthcare Consulting, Inc.

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Do EKG Electrode Patches Expire?

Often we see an opened package of self-adhesive electrode patches on top of code or EKG carts, or patches stored loosely in drawers in procedural areas. Various vendors manufacture these patches and many offer no explicit instruction on the package on how long they remain safe to use once the package is opened. Some go to the other extreme by instructing “do not use if the package is opened,” an instruction that many ignore thinking about the waste of throwing away seemingly good unused patches, rationalizing, why worry; if they stick well enough they most certainly are still good to use.

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Additional Diagnostic Imaging Standards

The March issue of The Joint Commission Perspectives contains an article on the latest change in the diagnostic imaging standards that have new requirements effective September 2016. Fortunately you have hopefully been reading and anticipating these for a long time as they have been in development and published by TJC on several occasions.

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Interim Life Safety Measures (ILSM) Explained

The lead article in the February issue of Perspectives addresses interim life safety code measures as required by LS.01.02.01. This standard is particularly important because EP 3 by itself is associated with an adverse outcome, accreditation with follow up survey, (AFS) if there is a failure to have an ILSM policy and evaluate life safety code deficiencies using that policy.

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New Endoscope Processing Guidelines from SGNA

SGNA has two new clinical practice guidelines, one on reprocessing of flexible GI endoscopes and a second on infection prevention in the GI setting. These can be downloaded from SGNA using this link: https://www.sgna.org/Education/Standards-Practice-Guidelines

In the flexible scope document SGNA provides guidance on minimum cycle documentation including:
• procedure date and time
• patients name and MR #
• endoscopists name
• endoscope model and serial number or other identifier
• names of individuals who reprocessed the endoscope.

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Drill Down on Hazardous Materials and Waste

In The Joint Commission January 2016 Perspectives series entitled “Clarifications and Expectations” continues its discussion on EC.02.02.01. They discuss EP’s 9, 10, 11, 12, 18 and 19. When reading these requirements, staff in either hospital quality or facilities might be tempted to say, “yea, we do that” and move on to something else. This one would be worth having a detailed discussion and analysis at a hospital wide meeting to verify actual compliance. Our recommendation is to use your “show me” technique, or your “how do we do that, where is it documented” methodology. Read more