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Clinical Interventions - Utility System Disruptions

What are expectations relating to procedures that address emergency clinical interventions during utility system disruptions?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only.

During times of utility interruptions, clinical procedures and processes may need to be changed or modified due to lack of utility support. EC.02.05.01 EP 10 requires organizations to have written procedures for responding to utility system disruptions.  In the event of power loss, HVAC system shut down, loss of running water, etc. emergency clinical interventions may be required in order to continue to provide necessary patient care.  

As clinical interventions vary based on the needs of the organization, there must be an assessment made relative to the type of utility interruption.  Written clinical procedures must be available for implementation should a utility system disruption happen. Staff should be aware of these procedures and how to access them in the event of a utility system disruption. 

Procedures to consider may include utilizing alternative spaces for patient care or procedures due to a power outage, rescheduling cases if an operating room does not have working HVAC, relocating patients/staff due to no potable water available.  This is not the same as the 96-hour sustainability plan, but the sustainability plan could be helpful in creating the clinical procedures and processes to manage a utility systems disruption. 

Reference EC.02.05.01 EP 10, EP 12 
Manual: Ambulatory
Chapter: Environment of Care EC
First published date: April 11, 2016 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on October 28, 2021

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