The use of specialized carts in healthcare provides readily accessible supplies and equipment for addressing specific patient conditions or needs. These conditions could include cardiac arrest, central line placement, malignant hyperthermia, maternal hemorrhage, etc. These carts are often a focus for surveyor review for outdated supplies, equipment safety checks and the like. This can not only result in a survey citation but, most importantly, put patients at risk for not having supplies and equipment ready for use.
One trend we are observing during our mock surveys is that organizations are not maintaining the guidelines and references they place on these specialty carts. For example, we have noted the following:
- Multiple Adult crash carts at a facility with outdated Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines. Some dating back to 2011.
- Pediatric crash carts with outdated Broselow tapes.
- Hemorrhage carts without the current organizational policies and protocols.
- An organization with inconsistent placement of their protocols/policies/guidelines on their various carts.
These inconsistencies can place healthcare teams in a position of not having access to references and resources when they need them. Organizations should determine (1) if protocols/policies/guidance materials are to be present on these carts, (2) a process as to how these should be maintained and updated as needed.
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Courtemanche & Associates specializes in Healthcare Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance Consulting Services. With over 29 years of being in business and 100+ years of healthcare experience amongst our consulting team, we are ready to assist with your accreditation and regulatory compliance needs.
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