Due to the complexity of hospital construction, OSHPD serves as the building official for all hospital general acute-care inpatient facilities in California. To determine the clinic buildings under OSHPD’s jurisdiction, see the Clinic CAN. OSHPD is responsible for the plan review and area compliance activities for hospital construction. Once OSHPD’s work has been completed, OSHPD notifies the Department of Public Health Licensing and Certification Program, which provides a certificate of occupancy for the new building/service.
OSHPD receives its authority under the Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act (HFSSA), which was enacted in 1973. The HFSSA originally pertained only to new construction or retrofits/renovations that affect the structural integrity of the building. Following the Northridge Earthquake, SB 1953 (Chapter 740, Statutes of 1994) was enacted, which established deadlines hospitals need to meet to remain operational. This is referred to as Seismic Mandate. In carrying out the Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act, the OSHPD Director receives advice/consultation from the HBSB as needed.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued the attached memorandum to state survey agencies providing direction on how hospitals, critical care hospitals and ambulatory surgical care centers can obtain a categorical waiver to lower operating room relative humidity (RH) below 30 percent. The memo also addresses the need for humidity levels to be compatible with manufacturer requirements for storage and use of equipment.
Earlier this year, CHA issued a report, developed by a broad group of stakeholders, which identified issues hospitals may confront when lowering operating room humidity below 30 percent and urged hospitals to conduct risk assessments. The stakeholders who developed the guidelines were particularly concerned about manufacturers’ warnings related to RH levels lower than 30 percent – specifically regarding the impact on the integrity and functionality of equipment and supplies used in the operating room.
CHA reminds hospitals with medium and large refrigeration systems that they must submit their 2015 annual reports and implementation fee to the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Refrigerant Management Program by March 1. To access the ARB online Refrigerant Registration and Reporting tool, known as R3, visit www.arb.ca.gov/rmp-r3. ARB’s Refrigerant Management Program requires the upcoming annual report for hospitals with large and medium refrigeration systems — those with 200 pounds of refrigerant or more — to include calendar year 2014 refrigeration system leak inspections, leak repairs and other system servicing.
For more details on the requirements of the regulation, visit www.arb.ca.gov/rmp. Additional questions can be directed to ARB through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (916) 324-2517.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Facilities Development Division (FDD) showcased its eServices Portal (eSP) and its integration with Google Earth at the 2015 Government Transformation Showcase in Sacramento earlier this month. The eSP is an online system that replaces OSHPD’s logbook and assists in expediting plan review and construction. At the showcase, it was selected as one of the top 15 examples of California government transformation. To learn more about the eSP and how it has enhanced FDD’s emergency response capabilities, see the attached report.
The attached report, Relative Humidity Levels in the Operating Room Joint Communication to Healthcare Delivery Organizations, January 2015, was developed by a broad group of interested stakeholders to identify issues hospitals may confront and offers assessment guidance for lowering the operating room relative humidity (RH) below 30 percent.
Hospitals with medium and large refrigeration systems, refrigerant distributors and refrigerant reclaimers are required to submit their 2015 annual reports to the California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Refrigerant Management Program by March 1, 2015. In addition, facilities with large and medium refrigeration systems must pay their annual implementation fee by March 1. To review the requirements and procedures for filing annual reports and pay fees using ARB’s online Refrigerant Registration and Reporting tool (known as R3), ARB will hold a free webinar Dec. 11 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. (PT). The webinar will also highlight and demonstrate recent updates to the R3 tool. To register, visit https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/125965233. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the program web page and will be repeated Jan. 13, 2015, at 1 p.m. (PT).
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will permit categorical waivers for hospital power strip requirements under certain circumstances (the issue of power strips in patient care areas was detailed earlier this year in CHA News). CMS has determined that power strip provisions for health facilities in the National Fire Protection Association 101 Life Safety Code (LSC) may create unreasonable hardship for providers or suppliers. The CMS announcement notes that the 2012 edition of the LSC also offers an adequate alternative level of protection. The categorical waivers will be allowed for the use of power strips in existing and new health facility patient care areas if the provider/supplier complies with all applicable 2012 LSC power strip requirements, and with all other 2000 LSC electrical system and equipment provisions. To use the waiver, hospitals must supply written documentation that they have chosen to do so and notify the LSC survey team during its entrance conference. The policy change is effective immediately. For more information, visit the American Society for Healthcare Engineering website.
All hospitals using wireless medical telemetry service (WMTS) devices must register them with the American Hospital Association’s American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to avoid possible harmful interference with the operation of their equipment. As the designated WMTS coordinator, ASHE maintains a database of WMTS users, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires registration with ASHE before an organization operates a WMTS system in the TV channel 37 band (and in the upper bands of 1395-1400 MHz and 1427-1432 MHz). If a WMTS system is not registered, the FCC considers it to be unlicensed and not entitled to protection from interference caused by other transmitters.
On January 23, 2013, the California Building Standards Commission adopted emergency regulations revising the 2010 California Building Standards Code. One of the key areas impacted was signage. Hospitals have a lot of signs — large hospitals may have up to 80 or more different types. Find out about the emergency regulations and what you need to do to comply.
The California Department of Public Health has updated sections of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations related to licensing fees and diesel generator testing so they conform to changes previously enacted in statute. Because the changes were enacted through statute, they do not have a “regulatory effect” and are not required to go through the standard regulatory development process. A list of the affected Title 22 sections that have been amended or repealed is attached. Also attached are the updated sections.
The filing of the SB 499 form is required by law to assess the status of hospital seismic compliance. Recently, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) made improvements to the reporting process. In this webinar, OSHPD faculty explain the changes to the online reporting form and and share practices to improve filing accuracy.