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 (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.
The American College of Healthcare Architects and the American Institute of Architects California Council will host an all-day forum Oct. 9 at the Marriott City Center in Oakland. Themed Overcoming Uncertainty – What the Future Holds, the forum includes a distinguished faculty of hospital designers and construction managers who will cover the impact of the Affordable Care Act, developing technologies, budget and financing requirements, evolving project delivery methods, and changing patient expectations on the planning and design of health care facilities. For more information and to register, visit www.healtharchitects.org/Education/California_Forum.asp. Deadline to register is Sept. 28.
The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) Facilities Development Division has announced it will hold one-day seminars, featuring current “hot topics,” Oct. 9 in Anaheim and Oct. 30 in Concord. Seminar sessions will include information on the functional program; defining “materially altered;” the use of standard details; preapproved details; the electronic services portal; and an update on Code Application Notices and Policy Intent Notices. Seating is limited at both locations. To register, see the attached registration information. For more information about the program, contact OSHPD at (916) 440-8453 or FDD.seminar@OSHPD.CA.gov.
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.
The Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) and Health Care Without Harm invite hospitals to a free webinar on the health impacts of flame retardants, the implications of the new regulations for health care, and the opportunities for hospitals to create healthier interior spaces through the elimination of harmful chemicals in furnishings while reducing costs.
The Joint Commission’s (TJC) Department of Engineering reports that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is no longer allowing relocatable power taps, referred to as RPTs or power strips, to be used with medical equipment in patient care areas, including operating rooms, patient rooms and areas for recovery, exams and diagnostic procedures.
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.