As you prepare for your healthcare facility audit, you may notice that many accreditation agencies require medical gas testing, inspection, and maintenance. In the past, many agencies only required these activities for facilities that were no or recently changed as part of their healthcare regulatory compliance standards. However, in an effort to make medical gas systems safer and more reliable, CMS, the Joint Commission, and other regulatory agencies now require periodic medical gas testing.
NFPA 99 and Medical Gas Testing
Medical gas refers to systems and components that deliver gases for medical use. For example, oxygen, anesthetic gases, and gases used to clean medical tools. Many regulatory agencies base their fire safety standards on the NFPA 99. This fire safety standard recommends a minimum of annual testing for medical gas systems. This is because medical gases pose fire and explosion hazards if they fail or malfunction.
In addition, the standards also recommend storage temperatures and appropriate handling for medical gas cylinders. Different facilities may have different medical gas systems and needs. Therefore, you will need to check which medical gas standards apply to your facility before you schedule your healthcare facility audit. This will help you ensure you are compliant.
Medical Gas Testing Compliance for Your Healthcare Facility Audit
During your healthcare facility audit, your surveyor will need to see plans and records for medical gas systems. Specifically, you should have procedures and records for medical gas maintenance, testing, and inspections. These plans should include when devices were last tested, inspected, or serviced. Also, you should keep documents detailing how often these activities should take place. Your environment of care audits may also need to include a plan for handling medical gas cylinders appropriately and how your facility will keep them away from hazardous areas.
Additionally, you will need to make sure that you have appropriate labels for your systems. Your healthcare facility audit surveyor will likely look for required labels for your medical gas systems. You must label areas like gas-specific outlets, cylinder storage rooms, and central supply system rooms according to healthcare regulatory standards. This will help you maintain healthcare regulatory compliance and also attain healthcare facility accreditation.
At Healthcare Life Safety Services, we help you prepare for your healthcare facility audit. Our team of experts conduct a pre-audit survey to help you identify areas of noncompliance and help you develop a plan to resolve these issues before your accreditation surveyor arrives. We are well-versed in standards for many healthcare accreditation agencies, including CMS, the Joint Commission, and many others. Call us today at (281) 598-1359 to discuss your needs with our professionals and get a free estimate for a pre audit inspection. We are here to serve you.