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OSHE News
OSFM Fire and Life Safety Services Branch: "CMS - New Team, New Look, Same Focus"
[July 4, 2017]

Compliance Specialist OSFM Fire and Life Safety Services Branch

[Above: L to R: Compliance Specialist Matthew Rodriguez, Deputy State Fire Marshal David Mills, Compliance Specialist Gordon Simeral, Assistant Chief Deputy Michael Trabue, and Compliance Specialist Mark Crawford.

by Deputy State Fire Marshal David Mills
This article provides an update of staffing and process changes in the OSFM Fire and Life Safety Services Branch.

Over the past twelve months, we have been revising the process in our Healthcare Unit on how we perform fire and life safety surveys of the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) licensed healthcare facilities. These changes, made in collaboration with our agency partners at the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), are in response to industry stakeholder demands for improved delivery of this service.

So what is the CMS Program?
The federal government’s CMS maintains oversight for compliance with the Medicare health and safety standards for laboratories, acute and continuing care providers, [including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies (HHAs), end-stage renal disease (ESRD) facilities, hospices, ambulatory surgery centers (ASC)], and other facilities serving Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. This is an optional program with which many of these facilities participate in order to receive federal reimbursement for services provided to patients covered by Medicare or Medicaid insurance programs.

What is a CMS facility Survey?
The survey (inspection) is to determine a facility's compliance to participate in this federal reimbursement program and is performed on behalf of CMS by the individual State Survey Agencies. The functions the states perform for CMS under the agreements in Section 1864 of the Social Security Act are referred to collectively as the certification process. In Oregon, the State Survey Agencies are the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

What is the role of the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM)?
The OSFM conducts Life Safety Code (LSC - NFPA 101 & NFPA 99) surveys on behalf, and under the direction of, DHS and OHA as part of their performance of the CMS certification process of participating healthcare facilities in Oregon. The portions of a facility receiving an LSC survey is generally limited to patient care areas and those portions providing direct support of patient care. This survey work has most recently been performed by OSFM Deputy State Fire Marshals (DSFM) Sean Condon and Jonathon Jones.

What are the changes in the CMS Survey Program at OSFM?
The people, the scope, and the services we provide.

The people:
For the past eight months, the OSFM has been preparing to transition the CMS healthcare survey work that DSFMs Condon and Jones have been performing to our three new Health Care Unit CMS Compliance Specialists. Compliance Specialists Matt Rodriguez, Gordon Simeral, and Mark Crawford have completed their transition to full time LSC surveyors of CMS facilities. They have been well trained and prepared for their new roles in the unit. DSFM David Mills will assist as their lead for the next six to twelve months as they get comfortable with their new responsibilities.

The scope:
LSC surveys are now solely focused on Life Safety Code requirements (NFPA 101 & NFPA 99), verifying compliance with federal fire and life safety standards of existing facilities and for new facilities who wish to be certified to receive federal CMS funding. This is a significant change in the scope of the CMS program at OSFM as our Healthcare Unit surveyors no longer enforce Oregon Fire Code requirements when they are conducting their healthcare facility surveys.

The services:
New construction and tenant improvement plan review - The OSFM will begin participating in OHA’s expansion of their new construction and tenant improvement plan review process by the end of September. This new service will allow our LSC surveyors to determine compliance with federal requirements prior to facility construction, with the goal to minimize any conflicts with state construction codes and lack of CMS compliance at the time a Certificate of Occupancy is issued.

Unified code and standard interpretation services - All requests for OSFM interpretation of CMS code and standards are now being referred to the Codes and Technical Services Unit of the Fire and Life Safety Services Branch, the same unit that currently provides for interpretations of the Oregon Fire Code (OFC). This change is in response to stakeholder demands for consistent code interpretations of CMS-related compliance questions that will also identify and address any potential conflicts with State Building and Fire Codes. This new service will provide for one voice and one contact for code-related questions ensuring we deliver the best customer service available.

Regulated community/stakeholder outreach - We have met with, and will continue to meet with, healthcare facility management and maintenance directors to educate them on the changes we are making at OSFM, increasing collaboration on our process improvements and to get feedback on how we can continue to improve service delivery.

What does this mean to the fire service?
Determining compliance with the OFC in healthcare facilities is now the responsibility of local fire jurisdictions within their respective communities. Any assistance required from the OSFM will be mutually determined in concert with the DSFM serving the local jurisdiction’s region. It will also mean more collaboration in addressing fire code and CMS regulation conflicts that occasionally arise when multiple regulatory Authorities Having Jurisdictions (AHJs) all look at the same issue being regulated.

Benton, Linn, and Marion counties will now have a dedicated DSFM assigned to provide them service. Fire inspection and investigation service support for theses counties has been provided by Deputy State Fire Marshals Shannon Miller, Kristina Deschaine, and Ted Megert for the past thirteen months as our office has been making these changes.

Effective June 19th, DSFM Sean Condon has transitioned out of our Healthcare Unit and is serving District 3 (Marion County). DSFM Jonathon Jones will follow on July 3rd and will serve District 4 (Linn/Benton counties). This will mean a decrease in workload for DSFMs Miller, Megert, and Deschaine as they have been filling the gaps in those Districts. Sean’s and Jonathan’s priority will be to become familiar with the needs of the fire departments and districts in their service areas and increase the level of service to them.

Please welcome Sean and Jonathan as they assume their new roles in the branch and congratulate Matt, Gordon, and Mark with the completion of their very intense training and testing, and their new role in our Healthcare Unit.
 



OSHE News
OSHE has once again earned the Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE for 2015
[August 1, 2016]

Platinum Level of Affiliation with ASHE for 2015

The Platinum Level is the highest Level of Affiliation that can be attained by an ASHE Chapter. This accomplishment reflects our membership's dedication to Education, Leadership, Communication, and Advocacy for the Healthcare Engineering profession. OSHE has consistently performed at a higher level, maintaining a Gold Level Affiliation from the inception of the program in 1997 to 2008 and Platinum Level Affiliation in 2009 - 2014.

For OSHE to earn Platinum level there are a few requirements:
- Conduct 24 hours or more of educational programming in the year
- Attendance at the annual Chapter Leadership Forum.
- Submit an application/nomination for the Emerging Regional Leader Award
- Chapter President & President-elect must both hold active ASHE membership.
- Joint ASHE/Chapter Membership: Maintain a minimum of 25% active members who hold joint ASHE membership in OSHE.
- Distribute a minimum 12 or more member communications.

OSHE met or exceeded minimum criteria for the Platinum level in several areas, including:
1. Education
2. Number of OSHE members who are also ASHE members
3. Communications from OSHE officers to members
4. Four quarterly OSHE Newsletters
5. Four quarterly OSHE Codes & Standards issues
6. Blast e-mails to all members throughout the year.

ASHE chapters participating in the Levels of Affiliation Awards Program submit documentation demonstrating that they have met several criteria based on affiliation objectives ASHE would like to achieve to make its chapters stronger and more viable, which in turn benefits the fields of healthcare engineering and facilities management.

A BIG "Thank You" to those outstanding OSHE members that assisted in the Platinum level for 2015 application.
 




 

Register for 52nd ASHE Annual Conference & Technical Exhibition July 12 - 15
[June 28, 2015]
More than 3,000 professionals gather on-site each year to get vital information on health care compliance, codes and standards updates, emerging trends, and best practices for efficiency, sustainability, emergency preparedness, and other pressing topics in the field. Attend the ASHE Annual Conference and Technical Exhibition to connect with colleagues in the field and to "stay fit" in your role as a health care facility management professional.
Location:
Sheraton Boston Hotel
39 Dalton St., Boston, MA 02199
> Annual Conference Website for Registration and Agenda  
 

Rick McGuffey
Rick McGuffey
OSHE Past President and Director of Facility Management
Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, OR

ASHE Awards Rick McGuffey at Annual Conference
[September 2014]
Congratulations to Rick McGuffey, Director of Facility Management at Sky Lakes Medical Center in Klamath Falls, and our Immediate Past President of OSHE. Rick was presented the ASHE District 10 Emerging Regional Leader Award.

This award recognizes professional for their contributions to the fields of healthcare engineering and facilities management; planning, design and construction; safety; clinical and biomedical engineering and technical management. Great work, Rick!
> ASHE District 10 Emerging Regional Leader Awards Press Release  
 


OSHE News
Your Opportunity to Comment on Proposed Code Involving Legionella Risk Management
[October 13, 2014]
ASHRAE Releases Legionellosis Standard for Fourth Public Review Draft
ATLANTA - A fourth version of ASHRAE's proposed legionellosis standard is open for public comment until November 10, 2014.

Standard 188P, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, currently under development, will establish minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. The standard is intended for use by building owners and managers and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.
The draft of the document and instructions on submitting comments can be found at www.ashrae.org/publicreviews
The proposed standard will be available for access until Nov. 10, 2014.

Changes to the proposed standard since its last public review in January 2013 include:
-  Alignment of the document with the revised title, purpose and scope.
-  Removal of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) terminology; some of the principles of the -  HACCP process are consistent with the process utilized in the document.
-  Inclusion of a normative appendix for health care facilities meeting specific requirements that provides an alternate compliance path that is more stringent than for other facilities.
-  More emphasis on requirements for design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service.

Tom Watson, chair of the Standard 188P committee, notes that the standard contains both normative sections and appendices that specify what is required to comply. It also contains informative appendices and references as guidance about how to do things that may be necessary for a given building water system.

"Building water systems vary substantially in their design and their capability for transmission of Legionella," Watson said. "Scientific evidence is either lacking or inconclusive in certain aspects of Legionella control. The informative guidance is included to provide suggestions, recommendations and references."

To learn more about actions regarding ASHRAE standards, visit www.ashrae.org/listserv. There, ASHRAE provides subscriptions to a variety of listserves, including one for Standard 188P, that enable interested parties to stay up to date with the latest news, publication offerings, and various other Society activities.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow's built environment today.
> More Information on the ASHRAE News page  
 


OSHE News
Advocacy alert: Changes to Power Strip Use, Plans for Improvement
[June 5, 2014]
ASHE members should be aware of several important compliance changes affecting hospitals and other health facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is significantly restricting the use of power strips in patient care areas effective immediately. Also, the Joint Commission is requiring hospitals to address overdue plans for improvement (PFIs) by July 1, 2014.

Joint Commission Department of Engineering Director George Mills states that CMS is not allowing relocatable power taps, referred to as RPTs or power strips, to be used with medical equipment in patient care areas—effective immediately. That includes operating rooms, patient rooms, and areas for recovery, exams, and diagnostic procedures. Mills reports that many facility professionals are frustrated by the change, arguing that restrictions on power strips would lead to tripping hazards from long extension cords stretching across rooms.
> Continue Reading "Changes to Power Strip Use, Plans for Improvement" Article on ASHE Website  
 


OSHE News
Spring 2014 Conference Presentations
[May 23, 2014]
View our 2014 Spring Conference Attendee List in our Members Only section

Presentation: "Lean, 3P Design in Healthcare and the Lean Leader" [26 pages]

Presented by Stephen Grose, Director of Facilities and Production at Emerald Environmental Services and Cedar Grove Composting; ASHE Region 10 Director, 2010-2011
The presentation explores awareness of the principles of Kaizen/LEAN activities, values and challenges with implementation efforts at VMMC.
Presentation: "Fire Safety System Testing Requirements & Documentation per NFPA: EC.02.03.05" [27 pages]
Presented by Bill Morgan, CHFM, FASHE, Senior Consultant, Siemens
The presentation reviews initial and on-going required testing of Fire Safety Systems including performance test process, frequency and parameters as well as documentation requirements for FS testing and scheduled maintenance.  


OSHE News
Advocacy Alert: Clarifying 7 Concerns about Proposed Changes to Hospital Smoke Compartment Size
[May 27, 2014]
ASHE supports a proposal to change NFPA 101: Life Safety Code® that would increase the maximum smoke compartment size in new facilities from 22,500 square feet to 40,000 square feet. The proposal will be voted on at the National Fire Protection Association’s Technical Meeting in Las Vegas June 11-12, which is part of the NFPA Conference & Expo that runs June 9-12. However, some who will be attending the meeting have raised concerns about the proposal. A new ASHE advocacy alert explains the concerns—and the facts behind them—and urges ASHE members to contact their local building officials, fire marshals, and other NFPA members about the issue.
> Continue Reading "7 Concerns" Article on ASHE Website  


OSHE News
CMS Emergency Preparedness Checklist
[May 19, 2014]
CMS has revised current emergency preparedness checklist information for health care facility planning. These updates provide more detailed guidance about patient/resident tracking, supplies and collaboration.
UPDATE May 20: CMS accepting public comments through June 16  on CMS Life Safety Code proposal
> Submit Comments Here
> View CMS Emergency Preparedness Checklist  


OSHE News
New OSHE Contact Info
[January 16, 2014]
In January, OSHE partnered with new management and your ways to contact us have changed. Please make note of the following in your contact methods:

OSHE: Oregon Society for Healthcare Engineering
5727 Baker Way NW, Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA 98332
PHONE: 1-877-460-5880
FAX: (253) 265-3043
EMAIL: OSHE@aminc.org
 


OSHE News
Mobile ASHE app provides resources for health care facility professionals
[October 28, 2013]
CHICAGO – A new app for mobile devices provides on-the-go access to resources for busy health care facility professionals, including regulatory updates, news, education opportunities, and acronyms.

Health care facility managers and engineers often work away from computers as they deal with issues around their facilities. The new Mobile ASHE app provides free mobile access to the following information:

News: The ASHE news feed provides the latest developments in the field, including regulatory updates on codes and standards, news stories, and press releases.
Acronyms: The health care field includes many acronyms. The Mobile ASHE app allows users to browse or search to find meanings for hundreds of health care, business, and military acronyms.
Monographs: ASHE members can access these publications, which cover single topics on issues such as facility engineering, design and construction, and safety and security management. One recent monograph tackled how to evaluate electrical distribution equipment to determine replacement needs, while another compared editions of the Life Safety Code®.
Calendar: The calendar provides an updated listing of ASHE events, including conferences, webinars, workshops, and educational opportunities.
Social Media: This section of the app connects users with ASHE’s social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and the ASHE Blog.

Mobile ASHE is available now for Apple and Android devices. Visit the iTunes store or Google Play and search for Mobile ASHE to find and download the app.
> Read More


OSHE News
New online gallery showcases health care design
[July 29, 2013]
CHICAGO – A new online gallery features hospital design projects from around the world, serving as both an inspiration and a resource to leaders planning the next generation of health care facilities.
> Read More


OSHE News
ASHE award recipients work to improve the health care environment
[June 25, 2013]
CHICAGO – The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association is recognizing members for their dedication to improving the health care physical environment. ASHE will present the awards during its 50th Annual Conference July 21-24 in Atlanta.
> Read More






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