Being prepared for an external inspection is essential for a smoothly operating healthcare facility. Typically, the Joint Commission and State DOH do not give advanced notice before inspections. It’s best to be ready at all times for the possibility of an inspection, rather than scrambling at the last minute to double check your equipment and records. Following the rules and regulations is not just about passing an examination – it’s about keeping people safe. Facilities should always be concerned for patient safety, not just around survey time.
Here’s a handy checklist to follow on a regular basis to prepare for any surprise or scheduled surveys:
- Ensure that all patient care devices have been biomed certified as safe for patient use.
- Check for expired, missing, damaged, or illegible inspection stickers. If any are found, remove the device from service until it can be certified for patient use.
- Look for any damaged cables, cords, plugs, etc. Even minor damage can be an issue, so err on the side of caution and replace them as soon as any damage is visible.
- Inspect devices for physical damage, both obvious and subtle. Any devices that exhibits signs of physical damage should be tagged as “Damaged – Do NOT Use.” Remove the device from service and schedule a service call.
- Make sure that boxes, files, etc. are not stored on the floor. Rather, they should be raised on skids or stored on shelves.
- Check that nothing is stored within 18 inches of the ceiling. Sprinkler heads require that amount of space to function properly.
- See that all devices, medication, and supplies are stored at the correct temperature and humidity to preserve maximum quality.
- Make sure to use dedicated “NIST Traceable” thermometer and humidity meters to take and log temperature and humidity readings. Keep in mind that these thermometers and humidity meters expire every two years. At this time, they must be sent back to the manufacturer for recertification or replaced with new ones.
- Review the temperature log book to make certain that it is up to date and indicates the date, time, temperatures, humidity, and a signature of the recording individual.
- Check that crash cart equipment is connected to “Red” emergency outlets only.
- Confirm that your biomed PM book is current and that all the devices are accounted for.
- Make sure that all policies and procedures, including your medical equipment plan, are up to date.
- Good Luck!