Planning appropriate response and recovery activities for a failure of the facility’s utility systems is essential for patient care and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) compliance, according to an article on the Health Facilities Maintenance website.
Some of the most important utilities include mechanical (e.g., heating, ventilation and cooling); electrical (i.e., normal power and emergency power); domestic hot and cold water as well as other plumbing systems; waste; technology systems, including the myriad communications and data-transfer systems; vertical transportation utilities; fire alarm and suppression systems; fuel systems; access control, duress alarm and surveillance systems; medical gases, air and vacuum systems; and pneumatic tube systems, the article said.
The article specifically discussed the CMS Conditions of Participation Section 482.15 pertaining to hospital emergency preparedness for all hazards.
Numerous technical resources are available to help review utility failure procedures. One new resource is a website established by the Department of Health & Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
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