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.
An HVAC task force, whose members include the American Hospital Association’s American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), has issued the attached interim guidance to help health care facilities maintain appropriate temperature and humidity control in operating rooms and sterile processing departments while it works to achieve consensus on conflicting standards. Among other actions, the task force said it plans to explain the conflicting standards to accreditors and state licensing agencies and ask them to work with health care organizations to establish a plan for resolving variance.
In addition to ASHE, task force members include the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation; Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology; Association of periOperative Registered Nurses; and the Facility Guidelines Institute.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a redesigned online radiation treatment resource. The first major redesign of the Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) website since it launched in 2007 is available at www.remm.nlm.gov. Intended to help health care professionals find reliable guidance to help diagnose and treat patients who have been exposed to radiation, the site provides information about radiation injuries and access to interactive clinical tools and data. Physicians and medical staff also can download a majority of the information from the website to use during an emergency if the Internet is not accessible, and a smartphone app containing REMM information is available for the Apple and Android platforms. The REMM site is a collaboration of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. More information is available at www.phe.gov/Preparedness/news/Pages/remm.aspx.
OSHPD has announced a one-day seminar titled “Building Relationships for a Successful Project,” intended to educate architects, engineers, hospitals, contractors and others on leveraging relationships to encourage successful project outcomes. The program will be offered on two dates: Oct. 21 in Anaheim and Oct. 27 in Concord. Attendees are encouraged to register soon, as space is limited.
Gov. Brown has signed SB 225 (Wieckowski, D-Fremont), a bill sponsored by CHA to clarify and streamline requirements of the Medical Waste Management Act. The bill took effect immediately upon signature by the Governor on Sept. 28. The bill:
Clarifies the definition of biohazard bag.
Requires a hazardous waste transporter of medical waste to maintain a tracking document, as specified, for the purpose of tracking medical waste from the point when the waste leaves the generator facility until the waste receives final treatment.
Requires the tracking document to be maintained only by hazardous waste transporters, and not by generators transporting waste.
Revises the container labeling requirements for specified medical wastes from “HIGH HEAT OR INCINERATION ONLY” TO “HIGH HEAT” or “INCINERATION ONLY.”
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeded with rules that could jeopardize patient safety by allowing unlicensed devices to operate on the same frequencies as hospitals’ Wireless Medical Telemetry Service (WMTS). The FCC adopted rules that include smaller protection zones than those suggested by the American Hospital Association and supported by CHA. Although the FCC’s rules allow for increasing the size of the protection zones on a hospital-by-hospital basis to help ensure that WMTS interference will not occur, the hospital community remains concerned that it will. Last month, CHA urged members of the California congressional delegation who serve on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee to sign a letter from Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) that urged the FCC to delay for at least three months its consideration of the rules, to allow more time for a consensus resolution to the issue.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has announced a series of videos, “Hot Topics with Paul Coleman,” featuring the deputy director of OSHPD’s Facilities Development Division. The videos will explore issues relevant to facilities and answer questions that come directly from the building community. The first video focuses on electronic submission of plans to OSHPD.
CHA has been participating in meetings with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), local air management districts and other businesses regarding guidance OEHHA issued on March 6 — the revised Air Toxics Hot Spots Program Guidance Manual for Preparation of Health Risk Assessments. The guidance includes changes to air toxics risk assessment methodology that will increase facility risk estimates by 150-300 percent or more compared to the prior methodology, without any increases in actual facility emissions. The guidance would also require a number of hospitals and other businesses to provide written risk notification to their neighbors even though the hospital may have significantly reduced its diesel particulate matter (dpm) emissions. CHA is concerned that the OEHHA guidance lacks direction and information on how air districts should communicate expected increases in the facility risk estimates to the public.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) has developed proposed building standards for a new seismic design category — Structural Performance Category 4D (SPC-4D), which meets the requirements of the Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act and acceptable structural engineering practices. The proposed standards are under review by the California Building Standards Commission.
The Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) has released the seventh edition of the Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities. Formerly hosted by the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, the guide helps behavioral health care provider organizations understand and analyze how the physical environment affects patient and staff safety, as well as offers best practices in protecting patients and staff. The guide can be accessed on the FGI website at www.fgiguidelines.org/beyond.
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.