A friend’s hospital recently underwent a visit from the Joint Commission. I was told that JCAHO cited them for the following infractions:
- Surgilube in the patient’s rooms was expired. After expiration, I’m sure that the Surgilube turns into napalm or some other dangerous chemical so this is a valid concern.
- There was too much Surgilube in the drawers in the rooms. After all, patients could eat the Surgilube that hadn’t transmogrified into napalm and become deathly ill from Surgilube intoxication.
- Tongue blades in the drawers had no expiration date. An obvious attempt to circumvent proper patient safety. Everyone knows that the emerald ash borer eggs living in the tongue blade wood mature after a tongue blade’s expiration, eat their way out of the sterile packaging, and wreak havoc on the trees in the community. One of the trees could then fall over, harming a patient.
- There were shelves containing items that were within 18″ of the ceiling. Nothing can be within 18″ of the ceiling. No one told them why nothing could be within 18″ of the ceiling, but they were cited for having things there anyway. This, of course meant that the hospital is at risk for being decredentialed for not moving shelving, clocks, and reconstructing some door frames to make sure that the doors were not violating this important safety rule.
- Laundry in the room wasn’t covered.
- Boxes of copy paper were sitting under the printer on the floor. No paper was allowed to be sitting on the floor. The reason for this was that if the hospital flooded, the wet paper could pose a hazard to patients. Forget that the hospital sits on a relative hill, so that in order for the hospital to flood, it would probably require that a tsunami occur. Forget that the paper is in an area with no patient access. There were computers sitting on the floor which would electrocute everyone if the hospital flooded. There were garbage cans on the floor, the contents of which would turn to sewage if the hospital flooded. Oh, and there were chairs and beds and desks whose legs were touching the floors as well. But only the copy paper was cited as a violation. So the hospital administrators had the poor maintenance guy grab something from the basement on which to set the paper. Now there is an empty drawer sitting on the floor with boxes of paper perched precariously safely on top of it. Next year it will probably be a citation for not having the copy paper high enough off of the floor.
- Pump bottles of hand sanitizer were hanging on the walls by the doors. Nothing could be hanging on the walls within 12 inches of a door frame. So they had to have the maintenance guys come back up to the ED, pull the pump bottles out of the wall, and re-insert them in a wall far away from the door.
- Only after the pump bottles were moved did someone then tell them that the hand sanitizer could not be within 6 inches of any outlet – even if the outlet was GFCI (which they all are). Therefore many of the hand sanitizer bottles had to be moved a second time.
But now look at how much safer the environment is for those patients.