James Ballard

Environmental Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting During Covid-19 Part II

CLEANING/SANITIZING/DISINFECTING Organizations need to start the discussion from a multi-disciplinary team approach to include (at least) Environmental Services, Infection Prevention, Surgical Department leaders, Purchasing, and the Safety Officer. A consensus needs to be achieved on what the meaning of cleaning is, what sanitizing is and what disinfecting is. Definitions Cleaning – the physical removal of …

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Environmental Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting during Covid-19 – Part I

For more than 20 years, healthcare has seen many iterations to the ‘recommendations’ on how to conduct cleaning and disinfecting processes. We started with just environmental surfaces, moved to noncritical environmental surfaces, then to high touch surfaces, next was Targeted Moments of Environmental Disinfection and today is Enhanced cleaning. Let’s take a moment to review …

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Stark Law Updates

The Stark Law was part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. Referred to as Stark I, this prohibited a physician referring a Medicare patient to a clinical laboratory if the physician or his/her family member has a financial interest in that laboratory (self-referral). It was codified in the United States Code, Title 42, …

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Sentinel Events

The Joint Commission has reviewed the most recent statistics from January 2020 to June 2020. The following number of reported events have been reviewed. Care Management Events – 185 Surgical or Invasive Procedure Events – 131 Unassigned – 46 Suicide – 41 Protection Events – 38 Environment Events – 12 Product or Device Events – …

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Medical Record Audits

Virtual Medical Record Review Are you prepared for virtual medical record review? Regulators and accreditors are conducting many medical record reviews virtually during the Covid-19 Pandemic. To be successful, test out your system for ease of viewing, connectivity, and viewing critical portions to assure compliance. What does your Medical Record Audit look like? Organizations routinely …

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When Disaster Strikes, It’s One Day at a Time, But What Happens Next?

Part II Tracing for Success In PART I, we discussed the pre-planning activities needed when addressing Emergency Operations. When your review is complete and you are satisfied that your Emergency Operations Plan is effective, meets regulatory requirements and more, trace your process using this guide adapted from: Falcone, RE. et al. “The Next Pandemic: Hospital …

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Joint Commissions’ Survey Activity Resumes

In light of the National Emergency, survey activities were suspended but are now beginning to return. Survey activities will be a new process in order to best serve the organization while protecting those involved in the survey process. Many activities will be virtual including document review, medical record review and group discussions. This will be …

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Sustaining Progress

Social scientist claim that it takes 3 weeks to develop or change a habit. We are now well beyond that 3 week timeframe, we are now even past 90 days in our Covid-19 response efforts. What habits have we developed or changed? Are those habits good or potentially harmful? Initially, healthcare was preparing for being …

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Redefining Routine Operations

Defining the New Normal – Getting Started Healthcare has been under siege for months anticipating, dealing with, or reeling from the impact of Covid-19, leaving little time to consider anything else. This leaves the question of how to get back to daily operations and what should they look like. Our June C_APPS provides the groundwork …

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